Saturday, March 08, 2008

Shadow Boxing Destiny


Destiny is defined as "a predetermined event that will inevitably happen in the future. "



I don't know about you, but I read that definition and I feel like putting my hands behind my head, leaning back and waiting for the Fates to intervene. I mean, what's the point of struggling up river, against the swift current when my lot in life is already totally predetermined? Anything I do is just going to be rendered a waste of time. I've been dealt my hand. I'm just on this earth to (hopefully) enjoy the ride. Why fight it?



Not so fast............Existential Psychologist Rollo May describes destiny as "the part of our lives that is determined for us, our raw materials, for the project of creating our lives." In other words, it is the clay, markers, paint, glue, feathers, pompoms, googly eyes, plaster, gimp, charcoal, wax, felt, construction paper, tissue paper, cardboard, crayons, and sparkles...........a craft shop full of materials that allow us to form our own fate.

Accompanying this destiny of raw materials is it's alter ego .......... FREEDOM! It's freedom that allows us the capacity to take a hand in our own development; our own destiny. It is our job to mold ourselves with the gifts God gave us. Sounds simplistic? Think again. When are you the driver and when do you let Jesus take the wheel? With the strength of your faith that will allow you to even consider your options..................Co-drivers possibly?



Freedom of choice inevitably creates anxiety. What to do? What to choose? Which path should I take? Am I on the right path? Will my choices affect others? Am I choosing with my heart or my head? Can I figure out a way to choose with both my heart and my head? What do I want? What do I need? If I choose the more difficult path, will I have the strength to follow through? Can I rely on my faith to guide me? What if I choose a path that goes against my values? Can I live with that? Fret, worry, fighting the daimon shadows................................Paradox shadow boxing....... freedom and destiny duking it out. What a big stomach ache it can cause.



To quote May: "Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." How many times have we felt paralyzed by choice? Gee, on some days, it's a bugger just to choose the gum flavour you want let alone tackle the big googlie-eyed decisions. Sometimes, it's much easier to take the easy path, with no bumps, no conflict, no puddles to jump over. Calm denial, head-in-the-sand mentality can take you right to the end of your life.....to a predetermined destination. But, is it what you really want? Is it fulfilling? No. Life on it's good days is a big meanie.



May also explores the concept of "Will." Will is your level of determination to tackle the big decisions and by doing so, to take the reins of your destiny. Will allows you to use your raw materials generously.....................to soar, to create a masterpiece with your life. Will is the motivational mortar to help you achieve your goals and to make wishes come true.



Eros, on the other hand, is the love that balances the strong-willed Will. According to Rollo May, "Man's task is to unite love and will" thereby finding a balance between eros wishes and blind determination. Love is the predominant daimon that motivates the will to make decisions.



So, what does all this mean? It means that the hand I was dealt can be altered and manipulated based on my desire and determination on fulfilling my wishes, wants and needs. It means that I have a huge hand in how my life unravels. My destiny is my choice if I am clear what I want and need. I can stick my head in the sand and go with the flow, or I can confront the whistling whipping winds of conflict and change, with the strength of my faith, and go for the gusto. I have the materials I need to create a destiny that is fulfilling and life affirming.



After I decide on the pack of gum I want......................


This week's Writer's Island prompt is "destiny......." Check out other interpretations right HERE!

20 comments:

Shephard said...

I'm with you... I think of it all as co-creation, whatever we decide the other half of it is. For me, it's not fate/destiny. I co-create my reality.
Michele sent me to enjoy your post.
~S

tumblewords said...

Loved your words in this piece. Wise and wistful, at the same time. I can sure relate to vacillating between let it hang or stirring up something that it turns out I didn't want, anyway. Hmmmm. Nice post!!

Selma said...

There is definitely an element of fate in the path we find ourselves on, but freedom of choice plays a much larger part. Thought-provoking post!

Marja said...

Very interesting post. I feel when you are on the right track, that is on the way of which you were destined for than suddenly a lot of puzzle pieces fall together. TIll you sidetrack again.

Awareness said...

Shephard. I like that....co-create my reality. The key is to know yourself well, and to be open to expanding on your own gifts.

Sue. Perhaps the vacillating time is the most important, if we don't let it get away from us. Don't you find that when you're processing and tossing things around in your head after you've had a new idea for writing something as a very busy and productive exercise? I sure do. Thanks for your input.

Selma...it all comes down to the level of awareness we have...so that we can GRAB hold of the fates and options to be in the lead of our lives.

marja...it is an intuitive feeling most of the time isn't it that allows us to know we're headed in the right direction don't you think? We need to be in touch with our intuitive side all the time.

Rainbow dreams said...

Thank you for posting this Dana, it helps sometimes to stop and think again about who's doing the driving and who's reading the map....
I like that analogy... of being able to choose to ask the navigator, of being able and often disagreeing with what they suggest...even storming out of the car at times, but someone who can always, if we ask and rely on them, take us back home...
lots about this analogy I will be playing with in my mind this sunday...

Shaz said...

This is just what i needed to read, not that I can decide what to cook for dinner now lol but it took my mind off the now and makes me look for an easier path.

Gypsy said...

So often we think we are on the right path that will lead us to where we want to go. We are walking along with our eyes straight ahead, whistling a tune in our contentedness, when suddenly we round the corner and are faced with something unexpected. Something we didn't count on. We then find ourselves bewildered as to whether we continue on the same path or deviate to accommodate this surprise turn of events.

Life is always full of the unexpected and the best laid plans always seem to go awry. Best just to sail along on the tide and let it lead us where it may. Destiny or fate...? I'm not sure but I do know that many of the twists and turns our lives take are not by our own doing.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Sometimes I feel that all the analyzing gets in the way of just "doing"....Things are put in your path sometimes and if you act on THAT particular 'thing', it might take you dowm a path that leads to who knows where? And if you don't act on it---well, then, you won't ever know where you might have gone from there....And it seems to me these kinds of decisions are placed before us, many many many many MANY times throughout our lifetime...Intuition plays a part; desire plays a part; 'will this be fun?' often plays a big part...'Am I ready for this?' can play a HUGE part, too, as well as the LOVE of whatever it is, too.....I don't know. In a way there are no "right or wromgs" in these things...and you may not know till you get to a certain place weather it has been fulfilling or a complete waste of time....In Show Biz there is such an element of "right place, right time" and 'chance', and 'luck' too....Maybe that is true in all things...Whatever. I still feel that too much analyizing can just take all the stuffing out of some things. Does this all sound nuts?

Rainbow dreams said...

Just been reminded of the film sliding doors... liked that idea...

Marie said...

I like the analogy of the materials in the craft store...what can YOU create from them? I also agreed with the part of it's predetermined for us, why not just let it happen to us?

Interesting post!

Sleeping Daisy said...

Wow! I love this.
Thank you for sharing such insightful thoughts.

Gordon said...

WoW what can I say a great post and so true, I think our lives are part fate, part destiny, part mystery and part indeterminatably unpredictable.
In what order these appear in our lives is just like a roll of the dice yeah luck or the lack of it maybe works in to this as well.
Thanks for the comment, but alas my dear dad won't be getting any better.

Awareness said...

Katie....always happy to provide food for thought.....it's always food for my own too....

Shaz.....good luck on the easier path thing. I've yet to find one, and you seem to choose some doozies as well! :)

Gypsy....I completely agree with you, and if we think about it too much, we won't even venture out there for fear of the unknown. You're right.......go with the tide and see what flotsam and jetsam floats by.

Naomi.......you make PERFECT sense. In fact, I got so bogged down writing a piece on destiny and ended up in existential territory.....all the what ifs and whys etc.....it's a bit of a mind number really. And, I can't write from there. So........confession time.......

I wrote this piece a couple of years ago when no one was reading my stuff and thought I'd repost it.

katie....i don't know that movie.

Marie.....I often wonder if the choices we make are a way of avoiding our destiny.......

Open Grove Claudia said...

I do love Rolo May and existential psychology - Viktor Frankel adn the like. The "new" Buddhist psychology really piggy backs on these folks.

Of course, on of the things I love about the existentialists is that they are all trauma survivors - Satre and Camus met in a Nazi concentration camp, Frankel was in one too, etc.

They make sense of the madness rather than sink into it's muck.

Great essay - as usual!

Awareness said...

Daisy...glad you enjoyed it. :)

Gordon....welcome. I'm sorry your Dad is so ill.

Claudia.....I listened to a wonderful interview this afternoon on the CBC Tapestry radio show with Rabbi Kuschner (when bad things happen to good people). he has a new book out, and often referred to Frankl.....I have never read his book and I must get my hands on it.......top on my list!

We can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond.......

What I like about May is how he has managed to interconnect philosophy, psychology and religion into an effective theoretical counselling approach. He wasn't someone I studied formally when I was at university working on my graduate studies.....he's a recent find really and he makes huge sense to me.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

I think it was pre-determined that I love this post!! brilliant, my friend ... xx, JP/deb

gautami tripathy said...

Indians believe a lot in Destiny. However, without karma, destiny has no meaning.

get going

LittleWing said...

very good read... it is the freedom of daily moments to pick and choose and change paths... absolutely...

Awareness said...

Deb...thanks. I'm glad I resurrected it. It was sitting in the cold case file from a couple of years ago. :) I guess it was destined to see the light to be read by others.

Gautami....I do like that.....Karma and destiny are intertwined.

Little Wing....I think we tend to look at the BIG life changing moments which are rare indeed, and that we need to focus on the ordinary daily activities instead. This is where destiny is nutured....