Lately, I’ve been thinking about destiny (or fate, if you prefer) and what it’s meant in my life. Imagine my delight when I read not one, but two blog posts this morning regarding being in the right place at the right time and seizing the opportunity presented. I imagine destiny is part what you make it, part blind chance. But there’s a small voice inside of me that whispers of mystery and magic and refuses to cave in to total and precise logic.
And really, what fun would that be?
Now, of course there’s an obvious explanation to that train and it goes something like, “Well, she writes fiction–what do you expect?” But it goes far deeper, I think. (Maybe it’s because I saw the movie Lucy last night, but I’m in a hella philosophical mood today…)
Long ago, people believed in magic, in forces beyond what they could see, and ascribed what they couldn’t explain to gods and goddesses, faeries and other supernatural beings. Or, in the case of Feng Shui, to the effect of energy, or chi, on space and time. Along came scientific inquiry and religion, both advocating that theirs was the only way, blowing the shit out of centuries of beliefs (although, in many [most?] instances religion jacked the original festivals and belief systems, modifying them for their own use. Science just rolled its collective eyes and ignored these belief systems, assigning the moniker of superstition to the practice.)
But centuries of belief in forces beyond ourselves created that still, small voice in each of us and is represented in the modern world by our little quirks: like the writer who lights a candle every time she sits down to her computer; or the pitcher who circles the plate three times before throwing the ball (I’m sure you can come up with more, but you get my drift). Many of us pray, others meditate–all trying to connect with something outside (inside?) ourselves. Some people prefer to call this voice God, some call it by a different name. Some don’t believe in anything other than themselves (which in itself is a belief system). I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t believe something. So, for the sake of argument, can we admit human beings are defined (at least somewhat) by their beliefs?
Okay, now that we’ve got that established. Where was I? Oh yeah, destiny.
Personally, I believe in destiny, or fate, or whatever you want to call it. I also believe in science. And stuff we can’t see or explain (I simply label that “energy”). What I don’t believe is that there’s only one way of looking at the world, one narrative. The universe is far too ginormous to hobble it with one true explanation. To me, it’s like saying my friend who takes belly dancing lessons is only that: a person who belly dances–when she’s so much more. Why limit our thinking?
Especially when it comes to the universe.
So I choose to believe in destiny. But I also choose to believe destiny likes a little help now and then. Like putting yourself in the way of the freight train of fate. In regard to writing, maybe you’re not where you ultimately want to be at the moment. I’m convinced that if you act like you’ve already achieved/received what you want, put yourself in the way of success, meet others in the industry, network, believe in yourself and persist, eventually you’re going to get it. “It” may surprise you, though. The universe is so much more intelligent than we could ever imagine…
Case in point: I never would have met my husband Mark if it weren’t for putting myself in the way of the destiny train. Several times. Until it took. Back when I was in senior high, I came out to Washington State to visit my sister and she tried to get me to transfer to a local high school. I didn’t, but if I had, I’m pretty sure I would have met Mark then rather than 18 years later, when I went white water rafting with the same outfit he did. Back then he worked as a chef and owned a French restaurant in the same town where my sister lived. He often ate at the cafe where she worked. They even remember each other, vaguely. The really weird thing? Back home, I was dating a guy who was the spitting image of Mark at the time. Years later, I showed my mother Mark’s old passport and she asked why I still had my ex-boyfriend’s I.D. Seriously, they could’ve been twins. Over time, we’ve compared timelines and events and have found many, many instances where we could have/should have met, even though we lived in different states or even countries.
What I’m trying to get at, (and this is quite a ramble, sorry) is that I believe there are forces at work that we know nothing about, and to be aware of what you put out there in thought and action. And never give up. Especially if you have a dream, whatever it may be.
Some day, you just might find yourself in the path of destiny.
Elisabeth Zguta says
I believe in fate – there are too many coincidences in life for it not yo be true. Great post DV – happy Sunday
Yeah, I tend to look at ‘coincidences’ as gifts from the universe. I’d rather see magic and destiny in the world than cold logic, although I do have a tendency to be more logical than not when it comes to money…
Thanks for stopping by, Elisabeth. You have a happy one, too 🙂
Polly Iyer says
Great blog post, DV. I do believe in Fate too, or Destiny. I always wonder what would be different in my life if I had zigged instead of zagged. If I had moved to San Francisco or Phoenix, the two other cities I thought of moving to, instead of Atlanta. Where would I be? My son said I wouldn’t have him and his brother. That’s for sure, but would I have other children? Would I be writing? We’ll never know.
Interesting thoughts, Polly. It’s possible you would have met your kids’ father no matter what. Who knows? Like you, there have been so many crossroads and choices in my life–I know I’d definitely be writing books, but would I be here in the PNW? Probably. It’s the trees and the water and the lush green I can’t get enough of. It’d be here or BC or Oregon, for sure. And meeting Mark was definitely in the cards.
Thanks for your comments!
Thanks, Jim! Nice to see you here 😀
Hi DV, What an excellent, thought provoking post. I don’t believe in destiny as in ‘set in stone’; I believe we choose a time and place to be born. I believe that before we are born we throw down a kind of blueprint for a life where we have set up certain challenges and quests, arranging to meet up with old friends and family we’ve known for eternity, and where we will play parts for each other, and all the time making decisions, at the point of power which is ‘Now’, about variations and alternate routes and outcomes that are part of the blueprint. I believe we are constantly choosing from probably fates.
I like the way you think, TD! I lean toward choosing from probable fates as well, and am intrigued by the idea that we choose our parents, and set our own challenges, meeting up with many of the same folks over time. Free will, in my opinion, means choosing from all that’s offered, (although I think the big lessons–the ones we choose to learn this time around–are harder to circumvent).
For example: One day I decided to take a road I usually don’t and found out later a bad wreck happened on that route. If I would have taken the usual way, I may have been involved in the accident, or I may have helped to keep it from happening, just by being there. Or, it’s possible nothing would have happened and I would have gotten to my destination that much sooner, causing a whole different set of dominoes to fall.
Oy this shit’s blowing my mind. I’ll stop now 🙂 .
Mel Parish says
Great post DV. Definitely agree with the ‘never give up’ aspect. And I believe that when you pay attention to what you dream of (rather than just dreaming about it) synchronicity will kick in and bring ideas/answers/solutions to help you on your path to achieving your dreams. But if you are not paying attention you might miss them!
Thanks, Mel. Absolutely. Put yourself in the way of your dreams, and pay attention! In Feng Shui, what you place your attention/intentions on becomes your reality. There are a lot of reinforcement tricks used to keep the client’s hopes/dreams front and center, allowing them to subconsciously work their way toward what they want to achieve. Just like whatever you say to yourself often enough and long enough becomes true.
Lynne Cantwell says
Love this, DV. I’ve thought about destiny numerous times over the years. And I tend to agree with TD that we pick our challenges for this life before we’re born into it.
Things do seem to go more smoothly when we align our actions with the Universe’s intentions. And the Universe has its ways of making us pay attention. 😉
No kidding, Lynne! I’m always relieved when I’m about to make one decision and something happens to steer me away from making it. Invariably, I find out it was the wrong one, or at least, the less right one. The older I get, though, the less I make those kinds of wrong turns. Thank goodness 🙂