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“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

We all start out life with ideas about what our life ultimately will look like. And those plans, obviously, don’t envision the bumps in the road or the tragedies that each of us inevitably will face.  We picture the future, we see only love, success and great friendships.

But if you’ve been on this earth for any significant amount of time, you know that life doesn’t go according to plan. Instead, we make our plans, and then we encounter the unexpected.

This is true for everyone. Once you accept that fact of life, believe it or not, it is liberating.  You no longer have to believe that your divorce or lost opportunity was karmic retribution for some past misdeed.  You also don’t have to live under the false idea that the whole world has it easier than you do.  They don’t.  (Into each life a little rain will fall.)

And once you accept that no one’s life goes according to plan, then the difference between successful and unsuccessful people becomes clear: Successful people are good at handling disappointment. And that means that they get past disappointments quickly.

I know people who talk about a divorce or the death of a loved one as if these events happened yesterday – except the event happened a decade or more ago. And then they choose to make the pain of that experience part of their current existence.

But that isn’t how God wants us to live our lives. It is reasonable to experience pain at the time of a loss.  However, it isn’t reasonable to keep reliving that loss over and over again.  God didn’t give us the ability to wake up this morning in order to feel the pain of an experience that we had 10, 15, or 20 years ago.  That is a waste of the day that we have been given.

I don’t know why God allows us to suffer. And I don’t know why we choose to hurt each other when we are so very blessed.  These are questions I cannot answer.  For instance, I don’t know why my first marriage ended in divorce. And I don’t know why my parents had a terrible marriage which led to my having a chaotic and stressful upbringing.  All of that seems very unnecessary to me.

But all of that is in the past. None of that is part of my present.  My present is a life with a wonderful second husband, a great daughter, an inspiring church family and, so far, good health.  I have a mini-zoo in my home, with a dog, a cat, and a dwarf bunny, all of whom provide me with amusement and affection.

My past has nothing to do with my present. It is over and done with.  My focus is on today and the future.  That is how I live every day.  I don’t need to dwell on the past because I have accepted that my life doesn’t always go according to my plans.

In fact, in some respects, my life has gone better than I ever could have planned. God has had a funny way of turning my negatives into positives.  I’ve just had to stay faithful through His process.

If you have disappointments or tragedies from your past that you are still holding on to, let them go. No one’s life goes according to plan.  We all have periods of pain and suffering in our lives.  That is part of being alive and on this earth.  So don’t allow your past to define who you are.  If you woke up this morning, then God has blessed you with another day to enjoy and savor.  Make the most of it.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

My book, The Secrets to Success for the Working Mother, is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.  If you purchase a copy, please consider writing a review.  I would be delighted to hear your feedback!

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