The Roles of Destiny and Free Will

By | January 20, 2017

People frequently write to me and ask how they can tell what their “destiny” is. They have a fleeting feeling that they are not doing what they are meant to do on this earth, yet they have no clues what they really should be doing.

Is there such a thing as destiny? Or do we each have Free Will?

I believe the answer is, “yes.” 🙂 Both are true at the same time.

I believe that each of us has come to earth with an “assignment” to complete. We may not be consciously aware of it, but it is a seed planted deeply in our hearts that will blossom when the timing is right.

Typically our assignments are not just single events, but many thousands of experiences spread over the course of our lives. They can also be multi-faceted assignments that cover different areas of our lives.

Perhaps your assignment is to be a musician, but you also love to write poetry, and you dream of getting married and having children someday. These can all be aspects of your reason for being here on this earth. Not one is more important than the rest, they all come together seamlessly like the threads in a tightly woven, multi-colored fabric.

Very often your destiny is also interwoven with the destinies of others. You may be meant to do something that will affect the lives of others in a profound way.

Using the above example, imagine that you are a musician and you write a song that ends up inspiring another person to write a book (which is his destiny). Maybe he was feeling unsure of himself until the moment he heard your song, and a certain lyric in that song resonated in his heart and encouraged him to follow his dreams.

And imagine that another person comes across this man’s book, and a particular passage in that book inspires her to follow her dreams…

Can you see how the things you do can be important on a much bigger scale than your own life?

So how do you tell what your “assignment” is? Listen to your heart!

Remember I said that your purpose is a seed planted in your heart? When you do what you are meant to be doing, your heart will feel full and joyful.

A good place to start is to think about your interests. What subjects have always fascinated you? What have you always wanted to learn more about? What have you always dreamed of doing?

Those are huge clues that point you in the right direction.

If you have no idea what your interests are, you may need to spend some quiet time with yourself to find out. Trust me, you do have some. 🙂

Grab a pen and paper, sit quietly and make a list of subjects you’ve always been curious about, or felt even a remote interest in. What are your hobbies? Write those down too.

Chances are, at least one (or several) of the things on your list will jump out at you and hold a higher priority than others. Those are the ones to pay closer attention to.

Okay, so if there is such a thing as destiny, then where does Free Will come in?

If we are meant to complete certain “assignments” here on earth, what happens if we don’t? Can we refuse our assignment?

Yes, I think we certainly can, but I can’t see why we would want to. We feel happy and fulfilled when we are doing what we are destined to do, and we feel frustrated and unhappy when we are resisting it.

However, it is possible for us to resist our purpose simply because we are afraid or uncertain of our own abilities. This is very common, and it can take years to work through that fear and doubt.

Interestingly, I also believe that the process of working through those fears is part of a person’s destiny. Those obstacles may have been deliberately placed in your path, so that you could work through them and become stronger. As much as we dislike it sometimes, turmoil and struggle benefit us greatly in the long run.

The most important thing you can do is to relax and don’t worry so much about what you are “meant” to be doing here on earth. Realize that you already know, even if you don’t have a conscious awareness of it. Have faith that you will be led in the right direction at the right time.

In the meantime, simply listen to your heart. Do things that you enjoy doing. Take classes and read books on subjects that interest you. If you feel moved to explore a certain path, then by all means explore it. There are no rights or wrongs here. You have Free Will to do whatever you wish with your life, and you can be assured that what you wish to do, and what God wishes for you, are one and the same.

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