There is a theory that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Eckart Tolle speaks to the power of now and how you must be in the moment, that now is all you have. If you spend too much time in the past you may miss the opportunity and the lesson and growth of today. If you spend too much time focused on the future, you miss today. That everything you have been through, dealt with, grown from has prepared you for where you are.
The most difficult part of this premise is that where you are usually is not where you thought you would be. For many, it means regretting decisions and outcomes from our past. We may stay in the muck of the past because we don’t like the outcome or it just wasn’t what was planned. So we stay tethered to yesterday, maybe even in a sick way, thinking staying there could change the outcome.
I spent a couple of days in Manhattan this week and the number of homeless people impacted me. I don’t walk around the city as much as I used to, I usually drive into where I’m going and drive home. These two days had me walking a few city blocks to my destination and there were many homeless along the way. Each had their story, each had their stuff. I was struck by one in particular. She was pregnant and homeless. She was looking for money for clothes for herself and food for her unborn child. I gave her money but kept thinking “what life will this baby have, born on the streets.”
Is this where she is supposed to be? Why? I realize I cannot rewrite her story or help her think about the lessons of her past and why they put her on a trajectory here, but it bothered me.
I started to think about my life a bit. I am not where I expected to be at this point in my life. I did not expect to be divorced, or with no children, no family. I expected to be in a thirty year marriage and perhaps have a child and be living the life I planned at 23 years old.
Letting go of the life you thought you were going to have and embracing the life you have is one of the lessons that is so very hard. It is painful to give up your expectations and it is difficult to just let things unfold. Let things happen. Be happy in the now, not planning the future or dwelling in the past.
Relationships are the easiest place to see this. How many of us dwell too long at the ending of one relationship? Again, not where you thought you would be. Of course we need dwell long enough to learn our lessons from that relationship, as there is always something to be learned. Perhaps you were too tough on the person, and you now need to think about why that was. What could you have done differently? In my case, my second marriage was the catalyst to my depression becoming front and center and having to deal with it head on. It was the catalyst of pain for me to move forward instead of staying stuck with those feelings of unworthiness, of not being good enough. I don’t know if I ever would have worked so hard at healing if that marriage hadn’t collapsed. That marriage also gave me my “children.” Although the boys are not mine at all, they have a loving and wonderful mom, we have a great relationship and I know they will be in my life in some way forever.
But at some point we have to give up on that plan, realize that it wasn’t ours to begin with, it was the universe’s plan. The universe made sure I met my ex-husband so that I could eventually heal my wounds and learn my lessons and grow. Grow into who I am today, the strength I have today.
So I am working hard at this notion of embracing where I am instead of dwelling on where I thought I would be, or where I want to be. It is difficult at times, you can’t force things to occur. You can’t force the plan of the universe. At least that’s what I think today. Every day I question this premise, is this where I’m supposed to be? Why? What’s next?
These are the questions for the universe for me today. And I don’t have answers but I will watch for signs and see where today’s path will take me.
You are where you are supposed to be. Let’s embrace this place and move forward.