Intention, Decision and Chance


Does the walker choose the path,
or the path the walker?
Garth Nix

When I was younger destiny seemed out of my control.; a predetermined path to eventual destinations. I grew up, became an adult and stopped thinking much about fate. My mantra was “if it is to be it is up to me”. I was lord and master of my life in those days, or so I thought.

A false sense of clarity is a frequent symptom of youth and my case of the “Mr. Know-It-All” virus was worse than most. Growing up in the chaos of a dysfunctional family caused me to end up with an over developed sense of self-reliance. I learned to survive. My belief was only person I could rely on was me. I entered adulthood believing what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

What worked for a while when life was simpler, did not serve me as well when life became complicated with career, marriage and a child. Well into my thirties I began to see that where destiny had placed me had a lot to do with my decisions.

My problem was choices made in my 20s and 30s were too often not the best ones. Good or bad choices, they helped shape my fate just the same. “Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences”, wrote J.K. Rowling. Over time I came to make better decisions because I tired of living with and trying to fix choices made recklessly. Better decisions made my destiny better. Seems simple now, but arriving at that realization was anything but simple.

Today I think of destiny as a cosmic soup of intention, decision and chance seasoned with the divine. In the throes of making a big decision it’s never clear exactly what is influencing me. The best I can do is take my time, pay attention to my feelings and ask for outside input from friends and my higher power.

I am grateful for the wisdom life lends a person who is open to learn.

There’s nowhere you can be
that isn’t where you’re meant to be…
John Lennon