|Photo credit: Matt Oake|
A couple of nights ago I watched the movie Back to the Future! What a great movie and one of the funniest parts of it is this conversation.
George McFly: Lorraine, my density has bought me to you.
Lorraine Baines: What?
George McFly: Oh, what I meant to say was...
Lorraine Baines: Wait a minute, don't I know you from somewhere?
George McFly: Yes. Yes. I'm George, George McFly. I'm your density. I mean... your destiny.
then, just now, I was listening to a show and the topic was, how do you know your density...er...destiny? Coincidence? Maybe.
But still, I think I'm destined to write about this. (Yep, I am the queen of corny one-liners.)
Many people think of destiny as something they should seek. That they must go out and find what theirs is and that once found it'll be recognised in a lightbulb moment. I agree to some extent. I have met people in this life that I have such an instant and strong and inexplicible connection to that if feels like I knew them before I met them. I have heard that expressed many times by others as well. That those people were destined to be in their lives by some mystical or magical force. I believe this to be true. But it isn't because you seek that these people show up. It's because they're supposed to.
But for me, destiny isn't something you seek. It's something you decide. You have free will within the circumstances of your life. And you can choose your destiny. You don't have to seek it at all. Because it's already here. You have found your destiny each morning when the sun comes up and you get to see it shine again. Where you are is your destiny and the proof of this is that it is where you are.
But there is more.
What if you find yourself getting up in the morning and have a certain dissatisfaction with how your life is going? What if you are in a terrible situation? Isn't that suckish? Your destiny is to be in this crappy place? So, now what do you do? Change it?
But change is hard right? You can't change your life just like that. Perhaps time and distance and situations are against you. Maybe you are imprisoned by your circumstance in some ways and change may be possible, and for you, it isn't instant and it isn't happening easily.
Viktor Frankl, author of A Man's Search for Meaning and a holocaust survivor said “When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.”
No matter what our circumstances we can always find ways to improve ourselves and the first place to start is to offer love to those around you. When Frankl was in the prison camp he directed his love even at the guards that imprisoned him. He felt that he had two choices in that camp and they weren't to live or die, that choice was not his to make. His choice was to love or hate. He chose love. He survived and he felt that his purpose, his destiny in life was to have been in that prison camp and then to tell the story. A story of love.
Here is an excerpt from his writings. The men are being marched to the camp having been separated from the women. The man next to him wonders how the women are faring, particularly his beloved wife.
That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise.
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth -- that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory."
We could get mired down in the idea that life sucks or we could find this bliss Frankl speaks of.
I have a very current and somewhat personal story about this kind of thing.
My friend was having marital troubles, serious marital troubles. She was struggling with it all, trying to decide to go or stay. I knew them both and I knew beneath all the crap there was an incredible amount of love between this couple. So I said to her, "You are in love with each other. Whenever things get tough, just go to that, go to the love." She told me after that she told her husband what I had said and they had put it into practice in their lives. That whenever they started to fight, one or the other would say, "but I love you." Their problems didn't magically go away. Their life situation remained. But what happened was a softer and more peaceful mindset about all of that. And however things end up in the end, whether they stay together or go their separate ways, right at the moment that love makes their lives better.
So what does all that have to do with destiny? Well that's simple. All the stuff that happens to you is just stuff that happens to you. That is not your life. You don't live the circumstances. You live the reactions. Your life is what you do with the stuff that happens to you.
Viktor Frankl's wife was murdered in a concentration camp along with all the rest of his family except for one sister who excaped to Austria. They never saw each other again but still her love sustained him. And he survived and told his story that others could learn what he saw in that bleak moment. That bliss can be found only in love. For him, distance didn't determine love. Separation and even death doesn't lesson love. And you love who you love and in a moment of thinking of that love instead of the immediate situation, you find the bliss Frankl speaks of.
So when you get up in the morning know that your destiny is not simply to be in the place you are now but to be in the place you are now with love. You have love to give and love to recieve. That is all there is.
Anybody on Twitter? If you are follow me, I'm Breezedaze. I just tweeted. My tweet was "I love you."
Because I do. It is my destiny.
(ps..I happily share my destiny with you, but I'll keep my density to myself, thankyouverymuch!)