I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life – past, present, future. Wondering if there’s some grand scheme that’s been guiding it, determining what happens, how I’ve responded, how I’ve chosen to live my life, what I was supposed to learn from it all.
Or has it all been random chance? Good luck and bad?
Sounds like the ruminations of a dying woman, which I’m not (that I’m aware of anyway!). Although when you think about it, we’re all dying – some of us are just farther from the end stage than others.
I know that there are some things I’ve done that could easily have turned out very negatively. Yet they didn’t. (Unless you count the guilt I live with, the nights I lie awake thinking about all the horrendous potential outcomes and wondering “why was I spared?”).
There are so many things I wish I had handled differently – times when I could have spared others’ feelings, when I could have shown more compassion, when I could have done more but didn’t. It’s not that I ever intentionally hurt anyone. More like I wasn’t tuned in to the potential effects of my actions or inactions. Why was that? I always wanted to do the right thing. Yet so often I didn’t – and most times didn’t understand it until it was too late to repair the damage.
Which brings me back to the grand scheme concept. I’m not a religious person. But it is hard for me to swallow that there’s no meaning to anything – that our lives are all random, no different than the squirrel that runs across the road in front of your car and makes it versus the one who causes a bumpy thud under your tire and a sick feeling in your gut.
I recently read Do Dead People Walk Their Dogs?, in which author Concetta Bertoldi repeated what I’ve read in so many other philosophical writings – that we’re here for a purpose, to learn lessons in this life that help our soul grow, lessons we take to the “other side” and eventually into a future life.
If that’s true, what am I supposed to be learning and accomplishing in this life? I’m busy all the time, doing and producing, but is that what I’m here to accomplish? I’ve lived and relived a thousand times all the mistakes I’ve made, and I try hard now not to make any of those mistakes again. Is that enough? I’ve learned the importance of forgiving – both myself and others. Is that my lesson? Or have I missed the boat entirely? Should I be doing something entirely different with my life, or am I in the right place at the right time? Have I missed any subtle cues that were meant to nudge me in one direction or another?
I bury anger. But I have not learned to let it go. Is that another lesson for this life (I’d better live a very long time if it is!), or will it carry over to the next?
I’m a pretty pragmatic person. When something goes wrong, I don’t spend a lot of time on wailing and gnashing of teeth. I simply look for what I need to do to fix it, to make it right, the sooner the better. Is that a good thing – or a control freak weakness? Should I embrace this part of me or should I be feeling more, embracing the emotions of adversity?
I keep coming back to the same place. What is the point of all this? Do we pass through this human incarnation for a purpose, or are we just putting in our time like any other living creature?
I feel driven to leave a part of me behind when I leave this life. It’s one of my motivations for writing, and for pursuing publication for years until someone finally said yes to a manuscript.
But is that sufficient? Why do I feel that – although having a book in print is nice – what I really want to leave behind is something less tangible? Yet my pragmatic side says the memories you leave with people die with them. The printed word remains. So is it possible to make a difference in people’s lives for generations to come by writing a superior book with a message that transcends the limitations of past, present or future?
But would the time and commitment to writing such a powerful and far-reaching work – what perhaps may be no more than a colossal ego trip – take me away from what I’m supposed to be doing, after all, in this life of mine?
Which brings me back (again) to my original question: why am I here? In other words – what’s it all about?