Talk about wildly creative, every human being is a completely unique creation. Like snowflakes, there is no possibility that any person throughout all of time and space could ever be the same. DNA aside, the ever- changing external influences can never be replicated.
The externals can never be the same, nor is anyone born a blank canvas ready to simply be impressed by circumstance. Our differences are evident at birth. Physical appearance, temperament, proclivity, relational style, express themselves in very distinct ways. One child loves to draw, another mesmerized by trains and gadgets with wheels, another with putting things together, another with breaking them apart, one with fantasy games, and another with books. Some children are shy and sensitive and others seem fearless. Clearly we are born with innate distinctions that interact with circumstance to form the patterns of our lives.
Explorers of the psyche such as Carl Jung, theorize that our calling in life, our destiny is inborn and that it is our mission in life to realize its imperatives, to make manifest our potentiality. Just as our bodies follow the enfolded map of our genetics, there is also a map of our unique psyches and that includes the call of our destiny. This enfolded pattern seeks its revelation and fulfillment through us. It is an inner force that propels us in certain directions, seeks experiences and circumstances that optimize its expression. As one Sufi saying describes it: God wanted to know Himself and so He created all the creatures of the world, each revealing a different facet of His infinite nature.
Our destiny may be subtle, hidden within metaphor, a quiet private expression. Or it may be our destiny to be visible, influential, and powerful. From the perspective of our unique destinies, the form is only significant in that it adheres to and is most aligned with our true destiny.
The path of our destiny cannot be determined by measuring its level of ease or challenge. That is not its point. We might be called upon to fight inner demons, confront deeply challenging circumstances, develop latent capacities, move in ways contrary to our familiar learned patterning in order to fulfill our inner directive. What is true however is that when we are following the thread of our destiny, our lives have meaning, fulfillment. When thwarted our lives feel misaligned, empty even when the externals appear otherwise.
Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism teaches that the world is not healed until every soul fulfills its unique destiny and contributes that to the totality. Nobody is extraneous or irrelevant and our own completeness depends on the completeness of every other person. It is our responsibility to the world, and the world’s responsibility to each of us to liberate and dignify the unique contribution of who we are.
Grasping this concept of unique destiny means that correct relationship to each other on the individual and world level honors and supports each person or culture in discovering and living the particular of their destiny. It means letting go of our ideas of how we want others to be in order for us to be comfortable or remain in the safe realm of the familiar. It means opening our eyes, our hearts to a sense of mystery, curiosity, and wonder.
It means relating to our children in the way described by Khalil Gibran in his lovely book, The Prophet. “Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. You may house their bodies but not their souls. You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you.”
His advice is not always easy to follow. Consciously or unconsciously we want our children to reflect certain values, make us proud, fulfill our dreams, take care of us. But it is the role of children to challenge us, to make us look at how we limit the world by only accepting parts of it. When a child falls far from the tree of our known worldview we have an opportunity to open our perspective, and enter into a mystery that is awaiting our discovery.
And we have an opportunity to experience a more mature kind of love. Love by its nature is accepting, appreciative and inclusive. When we reject we close our own hearts. Recently I saw the movie, Eagle Huntress, an exquisite documentary about a young Mongolian girl who aspired to be an eagle huntress, a venerated occupation almost exclusively for men. Her parents, however, supported her because, ore important than social norms, they wanted her to love her life.
Love your own life by opening to the unique and nonreplicable destiny that is yours to share. In doing so you are making the world whole.
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