June 22, 2019

It’s Not up to the Universe to Decide what we do with our Lives.


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“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” ~ Lemony Snicket


I have always been uncomfortable with the unknown.

I think I share that trait with most people. It’s why we created complicated religions to explain the world, why children ask the most bizarre questions, why even now scientists and thinkers are constantly seeking new answers.

Ever since we began to tell stories we have included the idea of fate, of a destiny already woven into our lives, an end point that we must reach in order to be fulfilled before death comes to take us. Seeking an answer for what we are supposed to be doing with this existence.

What if that has been the answer to the question all along? What if existence is our fate?

Here we are, on a nearly spherical piece of rock, surrounded by protective layers of gas and magnetic fields, hurtling through space and time. The chance of us existing at all is so infinitesimal that with all our telescopes, all our science, all our data, we cannot find another example of life in the universe.

The chances of you or me being born are about 1 in 400 trillion. That’s a number so big that most of us can’t even comprehend it.

So, here we are, blessed with the miracle of life, wasting our time wondering why.

I don’t have any concrete beliefs in God or a Creator, but I do believe in the Universe. I believe in the energy I feel all around me. It is not up to that energy to decide what I do with my life—it’s up to me.

My fate is to make mistakes. Whether by choice or by accident, I have done things wrong and I will do so again.

My fate is to love. To fall head over heels in bliss and obsession with my partner and my sister and my dog.

My fate is to learn. First, it was rote memorization, then analysis by comparison, and now I learn from my gut—from the instincts that drive me in the direction of something I need to cross paths with.

My fate is to lie in bed and sleep for days on end.

My fate is to climb to the tops of mountains and look down at all below me.

My fate is to take the opportunities that have been given to me. If those don’t appeal to me, it is up to me to seek new ones.

My fate is to hate those who make me feel lesser.

My fate is to forgive them so that I can be at peace.

My fate is to live both nightmares and dreams so that I can tell the difference between them.

My fate is to scream in anger, in ecstasy, and in rebellion.

My fate is to be hurt and to heal. My body bruises and breaks but it also puts itself back together again. My heart has been shattered into pieces but still it beats, and still I love. My soul has floated in the ether, ignored and alone, yet when I was ready to acknowledge it, it was there for me.

Do not wait for your fate to find you. Do not sit back, lie in wait, keeping watch for something to come along.

You have sentience. You have an ability to think in ways incomprehensible to the rest of life on this planet. Past, present, future—these are concepts that belong only to humanity.

You have free will. You are the only one who gets to decide what to do with it. Not God. Not the Universe. Only you.

Seek wisdom and guidance from sacred texts, tarot cards, or the stars but do not expect them to give you a straight answer.

Keep asking questions of yourself and of each other. Keep trying, keep failing, keep trying again.

Your destiny does not wait for you at the end of any book, road, or line of thought. Your fate is not written down or woven into a tapestry, or predetermined by a Creator.

Unhappy with what you have so far? Unhappy with who you are so far? Change it. Redirect your course, and redetermine your future.

It will not be easy, but it won’t be impossible either.


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Lizz Beth Ashley  |  Contribution: 1,110

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