These words ring familiar to my ears on this evening. Be it large life decisions or the plans of one day, I find that what I expect seldom matches the outcome.
When reading Joseph Campbell’s quote, familiar phrases may come to us: “let go, and let God.” or “the best laid plans of mice and men.” Phrases that speak to the plans we think are together and ready to execute. When we are up and preparing to go – we discover our direction becomes the opposite of our original course.
Big life changes are like this. Who knew that at the end of my last job I would be looking at retirement? Certainly not me! I was on a certain path filled with expectations. These type of changes in the course one’s life call for soul-searching. Re-direction is never easy. On a small or large-scale it can fill us with frustration and create anxiety about what life will really look like. Re-direction often means change requiring patience and trust.
Joseph Campbell speaks to this clearly and to the point. The frustration, oh – it comes from being human– when the plans we’ve made do not work out the way we expect there is a need to hold on tight. But as I read this quote from Campbell, I realize “The life that is waiting” might very well offer less stress and more grace. It is hard to argue when things work out better than you ever imagined!
So I’m thinking about life changes this evening. There’s little we can do except be open. Open to what the new direction has to offer. Letting go is never easy. There will always be grief from a sense of loss. But the joy that can be found might just make one wonder why you fought to hold those other plans for so long. To be given the opportunity to live in a way that brings hope and creativity is a true gift. A gift never to be taken for granted.
When I begin to lose my humor or feel frustration – I remind myself of this quote from Campbell. What lies ahead may not always be what was planned but isn’t that part of life’s adventure?