Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as having said, “Life is a journey, not a destination”. If you subscribe to this concept, the journey will present many twists, turns, ups and downs. Some experience great, almost unbearable, loss along the way. Others seemingly “glide” through life, either untouched by loss or oblivious to its presence. Still others amass great financial wealth, although it is usually extracted from those around them, from customers, employees or both. Some are only with us for a brief time, others for many years. Is there a common denominator? A secret to navigating through the currents and eddies life creates? Unfortunately, the answer is “no” to both questions.
So why bother? Some believe the direction our lives take, as well as the ultimate outcome, is predetermined. That while we think we are making decisions along the way, in fact the course is already set. We are simply “along for the ride”. Those favoring this school of thought point to the concept of “deja vu”. From the French, it translates as “already seen”, and is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced had been experienced in the past. How could you have a deja vu moment if the events of your life are not preset? Others believe our lives are guided by God or their God equivalent. And that while we are given free will to make decisions, we are being “nudged” along the way by a higher power. Still others believe that each individual is responsible for the course of their lives through the decisions they make each day. That we are completely autonomous beings.
The answer? I do not know, nor can anyone else on this planet offer anything but their best guess. But maybe that, in itself, is an answer. A belief, faith, a “best guess” are all we have. And that should be enough. Focus less on trying to see “the man behind the curtain” (a Wizard of Oz reference), and more on simply enjoying your life and all that it offers. You can do it; I have faith in you.