Fate brings us back to ourselves.
It is maddening to wait for news. News of a medical test; news of a job offer; news of someone’s safe arrival in bad weather. Humans want a win every damn time. Game on! But success and failure are often out of our control. Even happy news like gender reveals from new parents or the successful negotiation when buying a house puts many of us into heart palpitations and cold sweats.
Our brains magically take sides, inviting all sorts of ridiculous story lines that usually are just inside the lines of possibility but just outside the realm of probability. When the schedule is breached for the forthcoming news, we double down on the psychology of it all and leave our minds altogether. Waiting is torture. Patience is a murky place that we strive for but often can’t reach successfully.
The worst suffering seems to happen at the hands of Fate. As humans, we want what we want, when we want it and we aren’t much for messing around waiting for someone else to decide our fate. It is like letting a stranger order dinner for us, choose the movie, or the color we are going to paint our house. Ridiculous! People are not wired to show patience with circumstances we can’t control or accepting results we don’t like. We like having a say, making our thoughts known and our feelings expressed. We like control. We crave it in fact. And waiting for someone else to get around to deciding our fate is cruel and unusual punishment as far as we are concerned.
Grandpa Killian – the real Fate
My grandfather’s name was Fate, short for Lafayette. As a child I thought it an odd name. But as I got older, I ruminated on its meaning and found I was a bit intrigued by the deeper associations. Admittedly an unusual name —Fate. It sounds so final. But this man, my grandfather, was anything but ordinary or final. In fact, I would describe him as open to possibilities. I am not sure he ever met a person he didn’t like, a horse he couldn’t tame, or a circumstance he couldn’t make the best of. I wish all these years after his passing I could ask him how he saw his name, and the effect it had on his life. I bet he would say it described him well. No question. Acceptance. Patience intact. Living his life accordingly.
Cliches run the gamut when it comes to Fate. And its meaning seems to fly in the face of religious beliefs and human ideals. Is Fate related to religion, referred to as “God’s plan”? Or is it just human practicality that we use to explain our lives. I don’t know. And neither do you. But I do believe we retain the freedom to make our own choices which in turn affects the outcome of our lives. Right? So does that make Fate our manifestation or simply destined? Is Fate just a way to explain away experiences and circumstances we seem to have no control over? I like to think Fate is instead where we were headed all along, not because a preconceived path was chose for us, but just because as humans we are uniquely predictable. That somewhere along the line there is a plan of sorts. And as we choose our paths and make our choices, our Fate will be illuminated, uncovered and exposed, leaving us with a life that is revealed only as we are ready to receive it. Voila!
So how did Fate do this time? Did it listen to my wants and needs? Did I get my way? Is my fate aligned with my wishes? I am fairly certain that I don’t know the answer to this question. Maybe never will. But the sun rises and sets and my fate moves forward as much like the Energizer bunny as the dogged slogging of a river boat on the Mississippi River. And next time I have a big decision to make or more aggravating —one out of my control, I plan to bow to Fate and hold it to it’s promise. That I will always find out in time and that I only have so much control over my time and place on this earth. A reminder to appreciate each day for what it contains and offers, instead of swearing at its timing or its impractical schedule. Cheers to what awaits us!