I had a new computer installed in my office Friday morning, and as our wonderful and patient tech guy and I waited for my files to transfer from my old computer, we had a really interesting conversation about life. I love how those out-of-the-blue talks happen, always seeming to pop up for a reason- and often turning on a mental lightbulb.
Something he said in the midst of our discussion really spoke to me; the idea that every person who comes into our life, everything that that happens to us, is there to cosmically pull us in the direction we are meant to go- even the really challenging people who frustrate us and hurt us, and the tough experiences. If those people and events hadn’t altered our course- for good or for bad- we wouldn’t be where we are or be the people we are today- also for good or for bad. I think this was something that I really needed to hear.
I don’t believe in living in regret or living in the past, but I have held sadness about past events and relationships. I’ve felt frustration and sadness about things that have happened to me, relationships that have failed, or felt angst about the way events turned out in the beginning. Hindsight is always 20/20, my mother used to say; it’s easy to see why something may have happened with the gift of perspective, but not so much when you are experiencing it all.
As I look back at my life, I think back on a marriage that didn’t work, on a job that I thought I really wanted and almost won but didn’t, about two jobs won in the same week and what would have happened had I accepted the other one, and on and on and on. So many twists and turns in a life. I think about things that went just the way I hoped they would, and so many things that didn’t.
Perhaps I need to learn to trust Fate a bit more; for every rocky challenge I have faced, some wonderful something has come to replace it at some point. For every time I have cursed the heavens because things didn’t turn out the way I had planned, something meant for me was around the bend- even if that something was a only a lesson for the future. Just because something doesn’t happen when and how I think it should doesn’t mean that it’s a tragedy…so tough to see when you are swimming through the river of life.
Maybe I need to see each of these events as opportunities, as a chance to move myself to where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Each person who comes into my life is there to teach me something, to pull me toward where I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to learn. If I am open to that idea, if I ask, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”- perhaps things won’t be such a struggle at times. Perspective is everything as we make our way, isn’t it?
*The photos are different views of the city from our home and a couple from a foggy Saturday morning at the Downtown YMCA in Birmingham.