A Different Eventual Destination

PastPresentFutureEvery decision you make—every decision—
is not a decision about what to do.
It’s a decision about Who You Are.
When you see this, when you understand it,
everything changes.
You begin to see life in a new way.
All events, occurrences, and situations
turn into opportunities
to do what you came here to do.
Neale Donald Walsch

Starting a new week, I am glad for the reference point Walsch’s words lend me. I am reminded that everything I do makes a difference. It is the “NOW” that matters. Every single thought, action and even inaction in the present work together to shape the direction of life.

Years ago I learned as a private pilot that a one degree error in navigational judgment makes little difference in a short distance, but over the length of a long journey such a mistake will place me far from my intended destination. And so it is with life. Every course correction, big or small, yields a different eventual destination.

How could I have known….

At fifteen years old, a part-time job taken casually would bring a life-long career.

At nineteen moving alone a thousand miles from home and essentially messing up just about everything would in time be the comparison point I would live a well-managed life by.

At twenty-two getting married to a kind and caring woman would bring the first real structure to my life, a son I love dearly and begin turmoil that is still not completely over today.

At thirty-four having an affair outside marriage would start a chain of events that only in retrospect can I see, including a spark in my heart that lives yet today.

At forty-four taking a promotion/transfer would in time change my life so completely, in the worst and best ways, to where it is hardly recognizable compared to what came before.

The answer is “I could not have known”. Life is lived looking forward while moving toward the unknown. What’s ahead is always obscured in foggy uncertainty while the past seemingly takes on crystal clarity.

The purest wisdom I have is what lies ahead matters little compared to what I do in the present. The specifics of the past are only out of focus echoes of what really happened. As long as I learn the lessons, keep the good and cast off the bad, the specifics of what has been doesn’t matter.

The future will take its shape more from what I do NOW than from anything done before. Ultimately, the only sure thing any of us will ever know for certain exists right now, at this moment. All before and after is just a thought in the mind. I am grateful for that knowledge and will continue to improve my practice of it.

…the past gives you an identity
and the future holds the promise of salvation,
of fulfillment in whatever form.
Both are illusions.
Eckhart Tolle

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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