“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
When I was a little girl I wanted to be Lois Lane or Supergirl. They were my role models — smart, sassy, fierce and they got the job done. I followed and devoured their escapades in the comic books.
Yep. I wanted to be a first-class reporter or have super powers to save the world. Maybe both.
That was the life my childlike self had planned. Then, as I grew older, other dreams and plans took shape. Best-selling author? Inspirational speaker? World traveler? Rich and famous? Well, not so much fame. Intimidating. But money would be nice. I could help so many others and myself.
But the thing is, life doesn’t always turn out like we planned.
And what I’m learning in my ripe old age is an ongoing lesson for me — one I write about often — that I’m not in control.
That I have to let go and let God.
But doing it? The actual act of really letting go and handing it all over to a Higher Power? That’s a whole other thing. It seems I surrender to acceptance of the life I have now and then take it back faster than you can say The Daily Planet or Kryptonite.
When you come right down to it, letting go is a process. And that process is humbling. Mucho, mucho humbling.
Life hits us with the unexpected — a divorce, a death, a health challenge and there we are, detouring off what we thought was our chosen course. The life we planned or hoped for feels like a ship disappearing onto the distant horizon.
John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
But here’s the other truth I’m learning. Wherever I am — outside of that so-called planned life — is really OK. This is not a rationalization but a deep truth that if I surrender to the Divine, I’m exactly where I’m meant to be, no matter how many detours, disasters or wrong choices I’ve made.
An old proverb says that “God writes straight with crooked lines.” That means that whatever happens in life — no matter how we judge or perceive it as horrible — the Divine is turning it to our good. Always.
So, as I sit here writing this, I’m struggling right now with surrendering to God a difficult, personal issue in my life. I really don’t have any answers.
No, I don’t have it figured out — any of it — and that’s frightening. That’s the “control” part of me speaking, the part that is clinging to my plan and agenda. But day by day, I pray that I am learning to be at peace with whatever is happening. And even if not, I’m growing.
Whether I’m struggling or accepting my life — if I’m open to it — I’m still growing.
In the end, I did become a reporter at a newspaper. I wasn’t Lois Lane and Superman was nowhere to be found to rescue me. I discovered I had to save myself first. Only then could I be of genuine service to others. I’m still learning that one.
As to Supergirl. Here’s what I’ve decided, about me and each and everyone of us. We have more super powers than she’ll ever have.
We may not be women and men of steel, but we have strength of heart — a courage and bravery that rises up in love on the darkest of days.
We pick ourselves up and fly to a new level of wisdom when life slams us sideways.
We look with x-ray vision into the hearts of others and offer compassion.
And in many ways, small and big, we are rescuing our own corner of planet Earth.
So this life I have now?
No. It’s not the one I planned at all. I always thought I’d write a best-selling book, travel the world and inspire others to find the Divine within. That was my plan. But instead, I am caring for dad who had a stroke, in early retirement living on a meager budget, writing this blog, still part of the great unpublished with my novels collecting dust, and wondering what’s next.
I don’t have a clue.
Many times I still question, kick and scream, wanting it “my way or the highway.”
Other days, I let go and trust that God is guiding me, leading me, even though I don’t know what the Divine agenda is. But I’m listening. Yes, dear Lord, in all humility, I’m listening.
I surrender. That’s what the big “S” on my chest stands for, in case you were wondering. I need to be reminded. A lot.