We all have ideas about how our lives will go. Maybe we have a vague idea of what they will look like two years, five years, twenty years down the line, or perhaps we have very specific and precise plans for our futures.
Either way, we all do this to some extent.
This is usually useful for us as we decide what we would like to study in school, the type of career we are interested in, the type of family we want, the location we would like to live, etc.
Looking ahead can help us to set goals, and work toward a life we think we want.
However, it is our ability to flow with life that can make our planning beneficial, or debilitating.
Of course, life does not go as planned – ever. We can try, force, control, hold onto preconceived notions of what we think we need or want, but as many of us know from experience, life has the final say.
In moments of surprise, unwanted change, and detours, we may feel powerless, hurt, angry, overwhelmed, and many other negative emotions. It is because life is giving us something very different than what we had planned.
Often these situations are less than favourable (though sometimes it can be quite the opposite). The loss of a loved one, heartbreaks, financial troubles, job losses, climate disasters – these are all things that we cannot plan for and more than likely do not fit in our prospective plans. But these things happen.
It is awfully cliche of me to say, but the twists and turns that occur in our lives are just as important as having things go as planned. Even the most painful, disheartening situations have something for us to learn. Perhaps, they occur to show us that we can survive. Perhaps, they occur to show us it is okay to feel into our emotions, feel pain, and sit in the darkness for a while. Perhaps, they occur to save us from more pain later on.
The thing is, no matter what situation occurs, there are numerous ways to look at it. Sometimes that way is to feel down, to be angry at the world, and to feel like a victim. If that is our journey, and that is how we feel, then that is okay. That in itself is an experience we may need to go through.
Or, perhaps, we can take a crappy situation and cycle through moments of seeing its value for growth and expansion in our lives. Perhaps, through a painful experience we can learn to be grateful for what we have and understand we cannot control every moment of our lives.
The most beautiful, life-changing experiences may happen when we least expect – when we turn down the “wrong” road, do not get the job we wanted, or whatever situation we planned for.
Sometimes, the unexpected are the true moments of growth and joy.
We can plan our entire lives out, and yet this does not guarantee anything.
We can have an idea of how we would like our lives to look, while remaining open to the possibilities, the changes, the experiences we cannot possibly account for.
We can sink when things don’t go according to plan, or we can flow in the direction life wants to take us and see each moment as an opportunity to learn.
~ written by me in 2019, but seemingly fitting in the current state of affairs among our planet ~