The only things you can lose are the things you think you can keep forever.
And we largely function by the way of believing that which we accomplish, find, achieve — that which we become — we remain. We ache and wait for the things we want to be fated for us. The things we think are “meant to be,” the ones that are forever.
When a string of coincidences align to bring us an otherwise nearly impossible or unfathomable but perfect end, we chalk them up to being pre-determinedly laid out for us; the redirections ultimately being worth it, leading us to a place better than that which we could decide for ourselves. Even if we don’t buy into fate or destiny in an abstract, philosophical way, it pervades our language, it’s a reference point most people, at some point or another, use or at least wonder about.
But we never think of loss as fated. We have a really hard time understanding how or why an uncanny chain of events that ultimately leads to a not-so-feel-good ending could be destined. It’s rare that we identify our suffering with fate. We only ever see it in the aftermath, only once we’ve accepted said suffering. The opposite of fate, it seems, is humility.
We only want to believe in fate when we like it. We only want to think the good things are the ones that are meant to be.
The disconnect here seems to be the fact that we at once want permanence in an imperfect, impermanent world, and we want some glorification by the way of it. So we resist change by deciding what’s best and deciding that’s all there is and all there could be. We create timetables in our minds. Ideas of what we are, what we’re meant for, and how these things need to unfold. And these singular ideas, these manifestations that we believe in, we see them as once-happenings, ones that we’ll always keep. We’ll find love and be with them always; we’ll pursue a career and always be stable. We want happiness, and we want it forever.
And the most dangerous thing to want is forever.
Wanting forever is being closed, though that seems counterintuitive. It’s getting stuck on one image of how things are supposed to be. And if we know anything, from nature and from our own humanity, we know that if there’s no good or bad, there’s light and dense, and the denser things are the hardest. The sensation of peace is the feeling of freedom. Happiness is lightness, it’s openness. All of nature reflects the fact that deadness is hardened and aliveness is soft and flowing and free. To be alive is to be open and aware.
But we aren’t open. And we aren’t aware. We are running our experiences by the way of mentally constructing narrow trajectories that ultimately fail us. Therein: suffering. You know what happiness is? A high you feel when what you think is right aligns with what reality is — an alignment of a projection and a manifestation. It’s impermanent, it cannot be an end-goal. You know what grace is? Peace. You know what peace is? Okayness. You know what humanness is? Not-okay-ness.
And that is the art of an eternal state of grace. It’s not being happy all the time. It’s not about the outcome. It’s not about what we think we lose and how we presume we fail and how we suffer in the interim. All things serve to open us, and eventually, we find, the end of the road is not where everything we think we want comes to fruition, but that we start permitting all things, and because of this — because we don’t pass judgment or assign value — we end up only allowing manifestations that elicit lightness and opening to transpire, because there is no alternative. When something is “good” in the sense of the mind’s decision of what’s “meant to be,” there’s ultimately the alternative of “what’s not meant to be.”
Things aren’t as they are; they are as we are. So long as we are torturing ourselves over our lives not aligning as narrowly as the narratives we had decided are, we leave the reality of peace and the potential of freeing ourselves. Until we examine and expand our inner-sevles, the things we are most unaware of will play out through our unconsciousness. And it will appear to us, as fate.