I am not afraid. I was born to do this. – Joan of Arc
My guess is, if you were to go back through every blog post I’ve done over the last year and a half, you would find this quote. I have read a million quotes. I have them hanging in my office, I’ve written hundreds, maybe thousands, down on paper, and my Pinterest searches for quotes are out of control. Why then, does this quote speak directly to me? Why, when I am “stuck” or feeling overwhelmed with something new, do I repeat this in my head?
I have always felt strongly in the belief that things happen for a reason. This has only intensified as I’ve gotten older and had more experiences that reflect this. Yet, the word “destiny” had always seemed far-fetched to me. Is our future really predetermined? What if we come to a “Y” in the road and pick the left path instead of the right? Is that choice a product of fate? Or is it a result of our past experiences and our mindset in making that decision?
Maybe our history and our thoughts though are determined by our destiny. Or the challenges we face are put in our path to change a course that is not meant for us. I know when I have been in the middle of hard times, I have had points of self-pity and have felt a victim. Yet each time I have looked back at the trials I have survived (which is all of them by the way), I can clearly see the lessons that came with them.
Our life experiences, good and bad, teach us things, if we care to look for the lessons. The things I believe happen for a reason, which I realize is essentially the same as being destined, have undoubtedly been the greatest teachers in my life. Moving to a town where I felt isolated and alone, finding out I was pregnant when I my first-born wasn’t sleeping through the night yet, going through a big move/grad school/divorce in a year’s time, or starting a business I had never considered or thought through – these mountains were moved so I could see my worth in overcoming them. They were put before me so I could empathize with others through their struggles. The exact instances may or may not have been exactly predetermined, but I do believe I was destined for the wisdom that came with them.
Maybe each moment of our lives is not scripted like a movie script. Maybe the paths we take are littered with obstacles and detours that have not been decided ahead of time. But the destinations, the really important stuff, those are not accidents. Embrace them, good or bad, and open your heart to the fact that you were born to do this.