One of the most powerful lessons I have ever learned is to be able to recognize my shortcomings as victories. For as long as I can remember, my dad has always told me, “When man plans, God laughs”. I always understood that quote to explain things like unexpected rain on a wedding day, hitting every red light on the way to work, or any other situation that Alanis Morissette mentions in “Ironic”. But it means so much more than that.
As hard as we try, we will never be able to clearly see the bigger picture. We do not know our futures or our destinities. We only know our desires. But the important thing to understand is that God/the universe wants to bring us towards those desires. When something does not work out the way we want it to, God is saying no to the path NOT the destination. He wants us to find the most appropriate path, at the right time, and everything else along the way is to teach us the lessons we need to learn.
I believe in the harmonious relationship of fate and free will. I think we all have a destiny and our time here should be dedicated to uncovering our destinities by using our free will to make the choices that bring us closer to our higher selves. We slow down or speed up this process according to how closely we pay attention to the signs along the way. These signs are the serendipitous moments, coincidences, intuitions, and energies we all feel. This is how God/the universe communicates. Pain and happiness are signals as well. We feel physical pain when something is wrong with our bodies. It is a sign that something is not right and should be corrected. The same is true of emotional pain. It is a sign that we are out of alignment with our higher selves and should make a correction. Happiness works the same way. When we feel genuinely good, we are on the right path.
The relationships that didn’t work out, the jobs we didn’t get, and all of our failures were not God saying no. He wants what we want. He is saying yes BUT that there is a better way. Listen closely :).