Before Fame, They Were Dreamers!
Heart and Mind SERIES
As I pray my way through life, pondering what I desperately want help with, it often occurs to me that I am praying against Destiny.
You know the stuff that really bothers you. The event you wish did not happen. The chief burr under your saddle. The material in life, that you often pray about the hardest and with the most fury seems to be the intractable, un-eraseable fact or condition or whole sup-plot of our lives.
Issues involved with what we call Destiny seem to have their own featured writer, starring author quality, as if they are ALREADY ANSWERED PRAYER to some previous request from long long long ago. Or from recently past life time in which the NEED for this piece of Destiny made itself known.
As We Get Older
As time passes, we get more life in the rear view mirror, we see the sense and value and wisdom of some of these destiny events. We understand whole sub-plots and patterns in reflection that we had no way of understanding when they were in the present. Isn't it fascinating how just moving through the story of our lives gives extra texture to our dear little tales. Every once in awhile we stop, and say: "Oh, that's why Mary is in my life. I needed that so and so!"
Fantasize, Bemoan, Wish on a Falling Star
We do spend an awful lot of wistfulness, an awful lot of crying up to our deities, or our favorite good luck stars trying to wrench some magic out of the heavens. And much of the time, the heavens produce nary a drop of benefit for our thumping little cardio. We almost induce cardio arrest. If the gnarliest of our heart breaking items seem sometimes to defy Intervention, maybe we are looking at the topic of Destiny and not understanding what the Divine is doing for us. Maybe it's time to look at some of those things we want to pray away, as fixed blessings for our own development, and praying them away is the last thing we should be doing.
Let's take a look at some stories from history and the news for some piquant points.
Tom Edison. This man's fame as an inventor is limitless. And yet a boxing of his ears when he was young, as a means of correction and anger, changed his whole life. He became hard of hearing. It made him more introverted, thoughtful, and able to concentrate in a unique way. There is no way to say that this was not a drawback, but it was also the making of him! He let ideas cook inside him because he was not "wired" like others were, due to his injuries. It could be said that Edison would not have been Edison without that strange violence against him.
Moses. Can't you see him walking the hallways of the Pharaoh's palace: "Damn. I wish I was pure Egyptian blood. Things would be so much better if I were pure Egyptian blood." Not being able to pray it away, he just went on to be Moses. Maybe you are of "mixed blood" or have an unusual background. Clutch it to your breast. It's yours. It's you. He used all the parts of his background in his life's work. And some stuff no one had ever done! Take heart in this example.
Helen Keller. Remember that this woman's disability led to a whole new way of "seeing, touching, talking, communicating". Her burden and the lessons she learned from it, changed the lives of millions. When Patty Duke played her life with Anne Bancroft, she must have said to herself. "I am not sure I ever prayed for this." Through the repair of her life, she became an example for those like her.
The Most Unfortunate Joseph. Joseph spent his entire life going from one unfortunate event after another, climbing out of everyone of them through his virtue and integrity, if he had been able to pray away his misfortunes, he would have succeeded in changing destiny for his people - this would have to be considered unfortunate for them. His story also shows that good news can follow bad news, and vice versa. It teaches us something about the nature of life.
The Suffering Marilyn Monroe. Representing, in a sense, female longing, she climbed up from a poor to average circumstance to become "Hollywood's goddess". Perhaps she teaches us that our unfortunate setting often acts as a springboard for success. And then it teaches us that we can not escape ourselves. It is also a continual lesson that adornment and worship only have a short shelf life, if you don't also have real love and relationships in your life.
Ulysses S. Grant. A haberdasher who became General then President. It was his methodological averageness, his plugging along and predictable reliability that Lincoln admired. All of his competing generals looked upon him as a very "average guy". He used his "averageness" to attain the Presidency. Wouldn't it be funny to ask him about his fantasies. Could he have been the kind of person who prayed for more "personal dynamism"?
The Young George Custer. Now flogged by modern historians, Custer was one of the heroes of the Civil War, and along with his youth became quite a figure. What was his complaint? His youth! He used it with boldness. And he lost it with his impulsiveness. He had unflinching bravery. If he prayed for more opportunities to display his boldness, maybe he got an answered prayer that he really did not want. That does happen in this human realm.
Lincoln - The Abandoned. So many see his deep thoughtfulness and almost imprisoned interior personality as the engine and the furnace that became the place he ground out magnificent speeches and crafted positions from which he alone could operate. Lincoln's lonely abandoned youth definitely turned him into the man he became. And then, just when, he might have been able to relax and enjoy some of ordinary life? - He became a Child of Destiny.
Washington - The Ashamed. The Father of our Country was quite buffeted in his early military life with failure. And yet, in an almost Phoenix-like way, he used that experience to qualify him for his next positions. Somehow he just kept on turning negative turns into positive results. And then, when he started showing up in a military uniform at the Congress, people automatically thought of him as the military leader.
The Success - Benedict Arnold. Sometimes it is our good fortune and great success that lead us into peculiar states of mind and attitude. Because he felt he was overlooked at Saratoga and Montreal, he became soured, and "turned coat". Sometimes our prayers at night in our bed, become our death sentence. He basically went into a snit because he had an uppity wife and difficult feelings about his family. Prayers can turn into life changing manifestations.
Eleanor Roosevelt - The Unloved. This was an almost ugly woman who was truly unloved and unappreciated. She carved out a unique life, right there in public and started many efforts that now have her authorship on them. Rejected very early in her married life, and to her distant cousin no less, she still managed to live a productive and singular way that would actually presage lives that more people like her live today, openly and happily.
Elizabeth - The Virgin Queen. The "virgin" queen is her title, her pride, and her epithet. It is one of the most unique labels in history for this reason. It's not that she didn't have lovers. It was that she never married. This became her flag. She turned it into a new look. New make up. A new way of being seen, and now an immortal image that is indelible. One of the greatest queens in all of history.
Do Yourself A Favor
Stop praying against yourself. Stop fantasizing just because you can. Take you, with all of your complexities and "wish that wasn't me"s and start constructing a Happy Wholeness. Then you take the less attractive, the short, the not so quick, along with your more outstanding virtues and see the YOU that you ARE. As you do so, you will start to forget what it is that you have graded as less noble, less bright. You will start to say to yourself: "You know, your quiet winsomeness makes your more appealing." You can say: "There is a quietude about you that makes you someone that people draw closer to."
Destiny - A Complexity
Life is not simple and we are certainly not. We contain multitudes. Being human and full of life and hope, when it comes to our feelings about ourselves, it is probably advisable to hold those feelings back. Life is best lived in the present, and understood through the past. Don't pass too harsh a judgment on yourself. You never know what the next day brings, and you never know what aspect of yourself will become an important part of you. We are not on the stage alone, giving soliloquoys like Hamlet. Life on our stage is much more like a townsquare. You probably give more love than you know. Have more love than you know. We tend to be our own worst critics. If you think your dreams are getting in your own way, grab a mop and enjoy some dream mop work. Clear your dream decks for much more fun! It can be done. Christofer French is the Founder of Astrologygetalong.com and the Author of "How To Get Along With All Those Sun Signs". He has a Psy.D., which he obtained in 2003.