We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell
It’s pretty astounding isn’t it? That our plans would have the audacity to get in the way of what we really want. Not our parents plans for us, or our bosses plans for us, or even our spouse’s plans for us.
It’s OUR very own plans that get in the way.
Sometimes we like to take the easy route and blame our situation and conditions on “the man” or “the system”. But the reality is, very rarely is anyone holding us at gunpoint forcing us to commit to the path we’ve taken. Often times it’s our desire to please or to fit in, that keeps us on the road ‘well-travelled’.
Why is that? Is it because we believe that without someone else’s approval, there is no life waiting for us? Do we think that ‘they’ are better than us? Maybe there is no they. Maybe it’s the way we’ve been conditioned, what we were taught to value, thoughts and judgments as a child still echoing and reverberating in our heads lulling us into trance-like mediocrity.
“…plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
I gotta be honest with you. Some days as beautiful as the possibilities appear, I still find myself tied to old plans. Why? Because at the time they sounded so good and the exercise of creating them freed me from an even older plan. But maybe that’s all they were intended to do–free me from yesterday’s thinking.
A change of heart or a sudden turn doesn’t have to be the destination, sometimes it’s a part of the directions not the direction itself. Maybe that shift is part of our overall education – like a grade level in school? Or maybe it’s even smaller — just one of the many subjects that contributes to our overall certificate? Sound too trite? My point is, it doesn’t matter what it was or what you thought it was supposed to be – there could be something even better waiting for you..
Life is waiting…
I love the idea that it’s waiting…there’s a duality in waiting. Waiting The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time…OR… Waiting, like serving. The first waiting is bittersweet, because although it’s staying there for me – it’s also staying where it is, delaying action. It can’t become a part of me without my willingness to get rid of something else.
The trouble is sometimes it’s hard to let go because we’re not entirely sure that what’s out there will STILL be there waiting by the time we manage to let go. We’re conflicted by thoughts that we may have missed it or that maybe it’s too late. But if you knew that it was there and would be there indefinitely, would it make you more eager to let go? Or would you become complacent believing there’s always tomorrow?
Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t tomorrow. I could remind you of the passengers of a Malaysian Airlines flight (a couple of flights now actually)– and all the tragedies and mishaps that have suddenly cut lives short. But the possibility of that risk shouldn’t be our greatest fear, the even greater fear is that we may become stuck in our indecision. And the longer we fail to decide, the more the choice fails to matter. Awareness gets replaced with ignorance… Why? Because we ignored it.
Let’s read it one more time…
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell
This reflection isn’t meant to shame us, the quotation itself is filled with hope. Hope that there is something waiting for us. A life –if we choose to allow it —serves up our whims, our desires our bliss.
Isn’t it worth letting go of our plans to have all this?