Have You Ever Wondered Why You’re On a Particular Path?

So many times, I’ve heard people say they don’t understand why they’re in a particular family or school or job or place. Why they chose a bad marriage or how they ended up living in a certain city.

For so much of life, we think we’re just on a path propelled by circumstance – graduate college, get a job offer, so you take it and there you are. Go to a party and a friend introduces a friend, and boom, you found your life partner.

But nothing is that simple. I don’t believe in coincidence.

There have been times I met someone new and then every day after that I pass them walking through town. They were there every day before I knew them; I just didn’t recognize the smiling face.

And so many times, our paths try to get us in a particular direction that we don’t take. We look the other way, say no, and our destiny follows us until we embrace it and walk hand-in-hand.

That’s the thing: our life is mapped out by a higher source and we have to trust we are on the path we’re meant to take. If we mess with the plan too much or mistakenly think we’re in control, we’ll go awry until we finally get on the path we’re meant to walk.

That’s how I ended up in San Diego these past few days.

I won’t go through the exact set of circumstances that brought me here (think: five-plus years of relationships) but my career and my life led me to this moment. And the brainstorms and revelations and planning I’m doing here will open up the horizon of the years to come with diamond-sharp brilliance.

I’ve never hesitated to invest in ME. It’s the best investment for everyone and everything around me.

And because life is a sequence of learning opportunities, everyone who crosses our paths is worth learning from, has something to teach us.

Years ago, I went to a writer’s seminar at the University of Iowa and heard a magazine editor speak on the stage. After her talk, I asked if I could pay her to edit my work. She’s been a friend and a mentor ever since.

Last week, in a community center on the South Side of Saginaw, a reformed gangbanger looked straight into my eyes and said, “We can learn from every person.”

I’ve learned on this landscape of sun and sea air that it’s never wrong to take chances, and those few misses are still great opportunities for enlightenment.

There are no mistakes, and no coincidences. Everything is exactly as it should be. Walk the path we’re meant to walk. It’s exactly the path we should be on, even with its bends and bumps.

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