“There are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane; sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore.”
? Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle
Have you ever felt that no matter what you do, something is controlling your life something you cannot change? We might call that “something” Madam Fate of Destiny, and most of us feel we cannot change her decision as to whether we are born rich or poor, beautiful or ugly, saint or a mass murderer, So is Madam Destiny the driver of our life? But can we control her inevitable rampage in the good and bad with free will?
People have wondered about “destiny versus the free will” issue for hundreds of years, and yet the answer is simple, both create life experience, in fact one cannot exist without the other. There are some things we cannot control, even if we used our will to create the steady job, the secure home. When destiny knocks on our door, for example we win the lottery, or find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, free will can indeed improve the fall out, turning bad or good results around with proactive decisions, but it cannot change what happened. The fact is free will can help us understand why we ended up with egg on our face, and as a result we make new decisions and change aspects of our lives, but that phrase “bad things happen to good people” still has a part to play because only destiny can explain why a loving mother dies young, or a child is born with a hole in their heart.
Some say that destiny is karma, the results of what we thought, said and believed in other life times. From a spiritual perspective all decisions affect our circumstances, and free will can be both conscious and unconscious. We do not always understand why our actions today affect future events. For example, an adolescent might throw tantrums, and scream, at their mother, without really understanding what their mother sacrificed, or even how much she loves them. The result could be that later in life they will have to face exactly the same challenges with their adolescent offspring.
If we perceive ourselves as eternal souls travelling through time, destiny and free will make sense. We begin to realise how vital every day choices are, how important it is to be kind and giving, as we let go of limiting belief systems, and rigid doctrines in whatever form and open our lives to a third force, a sacred force.
You might say some people are destined to greatness, but as long as we look at other people’s destiny we avoid facing our own. We can choose to be special, we can choose to be gifted, we can work on cultivating positive attributes. But luck, and love, joy and happiness flow to us when we allow a greater power to take over our lives, a power that is beyond free will and destiny, it is the power of Spirit, the love of divine grace. We often turn to that grace to understand the injustices of the world, for example why a selfish person is rich and successful whereas a kind and giving individual has to struggle all their lives.
So are Destiny and free will important when there is a higher power supporting us anyway? Some spiritual teachers claim that our true Destiny is to love, and until we use free will to open our hearts we will continue to be enmeshed in life’s illusions, or what the Hindu religion calls “Maya”. Once we let go of our karma, and start using free will to connect to our hearts and the joy within, we will liberate ourselves and step into a new way of being, a fearle
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