Although I’ve been raised religious and have professed faith all my life, I still had kind of a mechanical enlightenment-era ish view of the universe in some ways.
I thought it was about what I wanted; MY hard work; MY struggle to meet my destiny; MY PLAN goshdarnit.
Something that my soul wants so much might just come into my life, and while I know that my hard work and preparation were a part of it, there was a stroke of good will and good fortune involved.
As there is in all things, being born being one of them.
And so given all the evidence I’ve had that there’s more than just a simple cause and effect, that life is unpredictable and fate/destiny is a real force, and more importantly, that the universe really is benevolent, if not always giving me exactly what I wanted but always what I needed, wow, there is a God.
Finally accepting the supernatural, irrational, sublime element of existence and calling it what it is, and more than just “stochastic error” or luck, has alatered other things in my life.
it IS about the journey, not the destination.
It’s not about what you achieve, it’s about being transformed by your experience.
and most of all, it’s about gratitude, faith, and compassion permeating your existence.
Hallelujah, it’s not about great but rather humility;
not about having stuff but having faith to see you through;
not about winning the rat race or even defining your own life so much as acceptance of the path you were called to follow, no matter how little you understand it.
Yes, I think that’s the biggest difference for me, a compulsive planner, achiever, closet perfectionist, rationalist, MBA:
It’s not about understanding the world in order to control it; or harnessing this life to make the greatest of deeds.
It’s not about winning, it’s about being, loving, enjoying, and working whatever you do with a sense of mission that you are part of the glorious unfolding of the world, how little you may understand it.
It reminds me of the Prayer of Saint Francis, asking to be made an instrument of peace, to console rather than be consoled, to understand rather than be understood. This gets at part of it, the divine mystery that somehow we are all one in the ground of being and doing good to others is simply making you more connected with it, more whole. But yes, we are instruments, we know not for what purpose we were created; it’s not about defining a goal or even discovering a mission so much as acceptance, submission as they say in Islam to the will of God, about finding peace by cultivating acceptance and really letting go since God works in mysterious ways and that is how we find our peace.
It’s not a question of “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” it’s more a realization that no matter how lonely we may feel we are never alone, no matter how aimless, we ALWAYS have a divine and grand purpose, no matter how much we have failed, we don’t need to justify ourselves to anyone but God, who usually seems to have other plans for us than the ones we do.
And this also gives dignity to the secret, not always so strategic or seemingly admirable callings of the heart.
Every trip is a pilgrimage
Every day is a miracle
Every person is holy.
God bless and Namaste:
The light in me salutes the light in you.