Monday, December 21, 2015

When Life Doesn't Go According To Plan

Expectations. We all have them. They come from how the world tells us things should be. The problems come in when life doesn't go according to plan (which is pretty much all the time). Why does this happen? It's because we have a tendency to make plans with our minds rather than with our hearts!

Key here is that we usually make plans based on what society and our own experience tells us is correct. We have used our five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) to gain information about how the world works. Then, using this experience, we rationalize the various options we see and choose what direction we will go in.

When I was young, I had all these expectations about how my life was going to be. I was going to get married, raise a family, have a successful counseling career and grow old with that same husband. The first thing to go was the career. I started out on the path, becoming a residence counselor working with emotionally disturbed children. Spending time with children who had severe behavioral problems because of abuse helped me understand I wanted to be the one actually raising my children instead of having a daycare raise them. Grad school was no longer all that desirable.

The second thing to go was the marriage. While I now understand there was so much wrong with my first marriage, losing it was still devastating. I felt like such a failure. I was broken and alone, and it took me many years to recover.

Even though my life did not stick to my mental script, I believe it did go according to plan. What I didn't understand was that it was going to follow the plan of my heart. My heart understood that I needed to learn self-worth and self-reliance. My heart understood I needed to be made stronger through adversity. My heart understood I was not meant to live inside a box that other people fit comfortably in.

I am okay with that. I can now appreciate that I've always had what I needed exactly when I needed it, even when I didn't understand what was going on at the time. My life has been full of fumbling and missteps, but it has been richer and more complete because of those problems. My life has not gone according to the plans in my head, but because my heart had other ideas my life has been everything I have needed.

Scrap the plan and follow the guidance of your heart! You may just find yourself in a place that far outweighs your former expectations.


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