If you want to achieve something in your life, is it up to you or the Universe to make it happen? Turns out, a lot of people have thoughts on this.
Recently I posted on Instagram about the need for us to go after what we want in our lives, rather than passively waiting for the Universe to deliver the goods, like some sort of mystical Uber Eats service. Some people responded feeling confused about (or just straight-up opposed to) that sentiment. Which is totally fine, since I’m no expert and I can only share what I personally believe to be true – different points of view are always welcome.
I thought it might be helpful to share my background and explain why I lean more into the ‘personal power’ than the ‘fate and destiny’ camp.
I had an institutional religious upbringing, and was taught largely that God is responsible for everything that happens in our lives – which made little sense to me, since there are a lot of crappy things happening in the world. If you wanted something, you were told to pray for it… and if it didn’t happen, to pray some more and be patient (the patience part still rings true for me). We were also taught that God has a plan for each of us, which made me wonder what was the point of trying to pursue anything that I wanted to do with my life. Cue confusion!
With respect to those who adhere to that more traditional belief system, it is not an approach that served me. It kept me in a sort of spiritual waiting room, with my life on hold until the breaks I hoped for – dream partner, dream job, dream lifestyle, etc – would appear. I became increasingly resentful at the Universe for seemingly withholding things I believed I deserved after so many years of ‘doing the right thing’. I took it out on other people. I became cynical about the future. I lost friends and I lost direction. Friends, I was stuck. More than a decade of praying for a boyfriend and a happy life got me nowhere. I found a sense of purpose and contentment in my life – and, yes, met my soulmate – only when I took the reins and started working WITH the Universe instead of expecting it to rescue me.
What I’ve learned is that the Universe/God/the creator/source – whatever name you prefer to use – responds to action. We have much, much more control over our lives than what we realise. I’m not saying the Universe doesn’t provide for us, I’m just saying that, often, we need to meet it halfway. Failing to do so is sort of neglecting to participate in our own miracles.
Using romance as an example – an area so steeped in ideas about fate and destiny – although you can’t control the ‘when’ the ‘where’ or even the ‘who’, of soulmate meetings (that part really is up to the Universe) you can control the speed at which it happens. In my case, these are some of the steps I took to get myself in the right place for a divinely guided partnership: bolstering my self-esteem and self-confidence, living my life more fully (instead of being ‘on hold’) by travelling more and starting a business aligned with my life purpose, and using energy healing to nullify the fears and limiting beliefs I held around relationships. In short, I got myself unstuck.
But what if what you want goes against the Universe’s plans? I must point out that if you are going after something that truly isn’t right for you, the Universe will absolutely withhold it from you – and often, there isn’t a way to know in advance what that is, you’ve just got to shoot for the moon and trust you’ll end up where you need to.
There have been occasions in my life when something wonderful actually did appear in my life – plum job opportunities, house-share situations with wonderful people who have become lifelong friends, to name a few – without any pushing or action steps on my part. But I suspect these would not have happened if I weren’t already on a journey of self-improvement. They were not my specific goals but they emerged in response to the change in energy around me as I started to grow and expand.
I believe we are souls incarnated into human form with the express purpose of growth and expansion, and one element of that is learning how to use our own power. This is my belief, and it is mine alone.
I suspect that, often, the Universe is waiting for us to come into alignment with what it, and our souls (the purest essence of ourselves), already know we’re here to do. The figuring-out part *is* the journey. If you believe absolutely everything is controlled by a higher power, you give away your own power and you will likely stagnate. The process of awakening is when you realise you’re the one in the driver’s seat, and the Universe is merely providing the fuel – as well as helpful road signs along the way. If it’s meant to be, it will be – but you are the one who has to steer.