I saw a great movie this morning that reminded me of the things that make life worth living. It was called, ‘This is where I leave you’ and was about a family (with the usual share of dysfunctions) who came together to mourn the loss of their father.
Dysfunctionality aside, it was about the choices we make in life and whether they lead to happiness or not; the trade-offs we make because we have this idea of what we think life should be like…but never quite is.
So often we plan ahead with this picture in our minds of how life should turn out, but it rarely ever ends that way. Sometimes we get disappointed about that. We think it should look like the picture and feel short-changed and frustrated if it doesn’t.
But what if that picture you have in your head is completely wrong? What if your life is meant to be so much more complicated, complex and truly wonderful than you could ever imagine?
It is the unexpected in my life that has led me to the most wonderful places – an unexpectedly and forced decision to leave a job opens the door to a new world of opportunity; a chance meeting that leads to a strong friendship; a book or an unplanned conversation that shows me a completely different way to live or think.
The unexpected is what creation is made of. And the illusion we give ourselves that our lives will proceed according to some plan we’ve made up is just that, an illusion built on expectations that are often not in our best interests anyway.
So be open to the unexpected. After all, as one character said in the movie today, ‘Anything can happen. Anything can happen all the time.’ So plan for the ‘anything’. Welcome it with open arms. Sometimes it may jolt your world, make you uncomfortable and yes, it may be painful. But the unexpected has magic in it too and we all need more of that.