On destiny and control

We always end up where we’re supposed to be.

This was a comment made at a reiki workshop I attended yesterday (brief sidebar: I’m on my way to reiki certification – woo!) that really got me thinking. Well, I’m a Scorpio, that’s what we do. Overanalyse, then overanalyse some more. It’s a lifestyle. Anyway, the woman who initially made this comment was sharing the story of what led her to train in reiki. It involved a long health battle for which western medicine was unable to provide solutions, prompting her to investigate alternative avenues. The physical relief she experienced, coupled with a dawning realisation that natural health was a natural fit for her, led her to ditch her career and train in the healing field. She feels that she has ended up exactly where she’s supposed to be.
Person carrying box of work possessions

I can relate. Seven years ago I was struggling in a high-pressure job on a weekly magazine with an erratic, borderline-personality-disordered boss. I prayed for help to manage my workload better; two weeks later I was made redundant. Not the solution I had in mind – bloody terrifying, actually – but it was, as it turns out, the right one. 

I knew this was the universe pushing me into freelance employment, but I let Fear take over and convince me I was too inexperienced/useless/inadequate to make it on my own. I took on a part-time job but instead of seeking out freelance work on the remaining work days I spent most of that time at home watching TV talk shows. I’m sure you can guess what happened 10 months later… I was made redundant from my part-time job. This time I knew I had to get my shit together and change tack. I could practically feel the universe’s boot print on my ass. That was seven years ago and I’ve been wholly self-employed ever since, and I can say categorically that this was absolutely the right thing for me both professionally and personally. It forced me to back myself and pursue income opportunities off my own bat, and as a by-product I’ve developed greater confidence. I’ve also had to work hard to sharpen the quality of everything I put my name on – because I have neither mentors to lean on nor mood-vampire colleagues/lazy bosses/corporate tedium to blame when my output is poor. I am solely accountable for every word I write and every hour I invoice for.

The point of that analogy is not to show what a slow learner I am (which is 100 per cent true) but to illustrate that sometimes you do, in fact, end up where you’re supposed to be – and the universe will not hesitate to give you a mighty great kick to get you there, as it did for me (twice). For example, you probably know someone who moved to a new city with their partner, and although the relationship ended they didn’t return to their home city because they’d found they belonged in the new location. It wasn’t the life they imagined – it was better. And if you’re familiar with the lyrical genius of Aussie singer/songwriter Pete Murray, you probably know that he was a promising rugby player until an injury shattered his dreams of sporting dominance. That was when he picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. You can’t hear his stylings and not believe that he was always destined for a path in music.

Also, because I believe no blog post is complete without a pop culture reference, here’s an example from Sex and the City. Remember when Charlotte was so desperate to be married she rushed up the aisle with Trey, even though they had no sexual chemistry (an absolute deal-breaker, IMHO)? Inevitably, the marriage ended but that process put her in the path of divorce lawyer Harry – who she would have overlooked in the past – and she found they had a deep and enduring connection.

But even though it seems to be true that we all end up in the right place eventually, I’m not entirely comfortable with the notion of the universe intervening to get us there. (I’m also not sure how this accounts for those people who die prematurely or alone – but that question is far too big for this particular post.) This seems somewhat disempowering – essentially, it means we don’t have as much ability to write the script for our own life as we had been led to believe. From what I can make out, although we have a massive amount of self-determination in terms of our life path – more than we realise, because we don’t fully appreciate how to harness this power – there is a large part of our course that’s pre-determined, and we have been armed with the skill set, talent base and personality traits (or at least the ability to develop them) to support that. Maybe the reason the universe might intervene is that sometimes we get so far down the wrong track we can’t find our way back on our own. And maybe we have to have been deeply down the wrong track to realise how right the other track really is.

Maybe that has happened to you? If so, I’d love to hear about it.