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!