In the past couple of years, my life has been coming full circle. Doors that were closing and opening that didn’t make sense in the moment began making sense with time upon self reflection and conversations with others. Within the past four or five years, I have had various thoughts of, “Well if this didn’t happen, this wouldn’t have happened,” or “It’s a good thing this didn’t happen because, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have been able to execute or appreciate it.” It really can be a blessing when we don’t get what we think we want. This sort of realization has helped me become more confident and secure in my decisions. It has further affirmed my belief in the universe and that almost everything, if not everything, happens for a reason.
First, I want to emphasize that I say almost everything because few things are accurate and applicable 100% of the time. I also want to add that the reason some things occur may not always have a spiritual, philosophical, or deeper meaning attached to it. Sometimes you really are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes you make a disadvantageous choice. Some people take advantage. Sometimes the reason for an event occurring has nothing to do with you and is instead a consequence of someone else’s actions. However, I do believe in some version of fate or destiny. I believe that some occurrences just happen to align perfectly, whether for a higher purpose or the purpose we assign ourselves.
Fate is defined by Google as “a development of events beyond a person’s control.” I see fate more as a destination one can end up experiencing and passing by than a driving force that actively dabbles in our lives. Too many tragic events occur for me to feel comfortable saying every single thing that happens is justified because of fate for a higher purpose. I don’t believe people’s fates are sealed and can be unchanged. Free will, the idea that we can do whatever we want, is said to exist, though some think it’s an illusion. I think that we have free will because we are not consciously forced into every aspect of our lives. For the most part, day to day, we are theoretically free to choose what we eat, where we go, what we wear, and what we do. However, the options we have are are not vast because of societal norms and structures, because of our past decisions, and because of other people and their choices. I believe we are free to select a choice among the options we are given. Maybe the choice we choose is predetermined or inevitable, but theoretically, I think often times no higher entity is actively forcing us there.
So, with the idea that we have free will, we make numerous decisions throughout our lives, all of which have a multiple possibilities. The situations we fall in- where we are born, race, nationality, gender, income levels, our parents, growing up with whoever raises us etc.- and the choices we make lead us to each moment. To me, those series of events and each present moment set up potential for the next moment which has the potential for us to experience a moment of fate.
I see life as a path. I know cliche. But hear me out. You start at the beginning of the path when you are born. You are your own person; that’s why everyone has their own path. Choices are made for you and people influence you. Each major choice and situation that effects who you are, like what high school you attend and the people you encounter, create a new branch and direction for the path that you’re on. When you get older, you start making those bigger decisions regarding who you associate with and how to spend your time. Each of these decisions, including major life events, branches into different possible paths. Once you head down a certain direction on the path, you can’t turn around.
For example, I consider college a major life event. Choosing a major and attending college will inevitably jumpstart how the future will go. I had multiple options for where I wanted to go. That’s multiple branches on the path of life I could’ve chosen. I went towards the direction of school in Vegas, and even if I happened to transfer, I couldn’t take back what I experienced. I couldn’t turn around on the road I was already going down. I would’ve only been able to switch gears from there. The same is true of having a baby. All of the options about how to handle my pregnancy were different roads I could have taken. I chose the path I did.
We make choices and situations occur in the moment. Some of us have no true foresight about how the future will pan out, only a view of how we want it to go. The path you go down is the path you choose, whether consciously or through fault of your own or not.
It’s important to note that I don’t believe everything that happens in life is always or entirely our own fault. As I said, I don’t think fate is sealed. Things happen and we don’t have control over everything. For example, my skin tone and my body type are the way they are. I can’t wish my autoimmune disease or anxiety away. I was born into the family I was born into. Society is the way it is. Even though I could make choices to change my appearance, ease the symptoms regarding my health, or not be around my family, all those qualities about me will always have existed without my choosing. They are what they are. I can only choose how to cope, react, and move forward with them.
Also, we are all interconnected. Our life paths cross those of others daily. Some of the people we encounter can influence us negatively, leading us down a road with consequences we don’t want to experience. Some help guide us to where the universe or even where we want to end up. Some abruptly knock others off the entire path itself. We have the same effects on others as well. We can also hypothetically do whatever we want whenever we want. Nothing is stopping us from anything, except for ourselves and of course the measures we as a society put into place. To me, this could mean we make choices that take us longer to meet our various moments of fate. It means we may never experience a moment of fate.
Because of free will and the uncontrollable, it just makes sense to me that fate is a destination and that one can encounter different moments of fate. I see fate as moments in life that just align perfectly maybe through some guiding force. If you believe in “the one,” in “soulmates,” in having a purpose, or in things being meant to be of happening for a reason, then at least a little part of you believes in fate too.
Side note: I love talking about ideas and theories like this. If you want to talk more about it with me and share your view points, feel free to comment or message me!