Fate. I usually resist that concept. One is fated for something. Has no choice in the matter.
Acting on creative opportunities to take fate back into my own hands puts a different slant on it.
Michelangelo said that he saw the statue when he picked out marble from the quarry. Then he would get to work releasing it from the marble.
My journey for a good many years was to find the innocence lost in my childhood—to restore it. I entered innocently into friendships, partnerships, jobs, with the assumption that my best interest was central to any agreements that formed the basis of the relationships. That is, I thought that my best interest was at the heart of the other party’s motivations.
I was stuck in the helplessness of childhood. That brand of innocence is actually a bit on the narcissistic side.
I don’t know when the light bulb lit up over my head. It has been there for a while, that light bulb, waiting for the switch to be flipped. I’m not even sure what made me flip the switch. But it was a revelation:
I didn’t need to restore my innocence. I needed to embrace experience.
Experience, not guilt, is the flip side of innocence.
Each one of us is living a story. It might be truly ours, or it might be one we think we are supposed to be living—one given us with such dogma that we think we have no choice but to live it. I think our job is to chip away at the dogma, much as Michelangelo chipped away at the marble slab, so we can release the story we are, not the one we think we are supposed to be. And our story comprises our experience.
My early experience showed me that there is darkness as well as light in the human heart. Maturity has allowed me to see that the darkness of another’s heart wasn’t and isn’t about me, but rather experience stuck in the darkness of shame, humiliation, and refusal to let go of innocence.
Maybe that’s the villain in us—refusing experience, holding onto innocence. The hero in us embraces experience as life, our life, and weaves it into our story.
My fate is my story. The story that is my life, comprising innocence and experience, light and dark, joy and sorrow.
We each have our own life story.