Photo by Mrs. Brown on Pixabay
By Morella Devost
One July morning in 2005, while meditating at sunrise alone in the red Arizona desert, I had the most profound experience of complete understanding in my life.
It happened while attending a retreat at Eden Hotsprings, a very special place in the middle of nowhere. I had slept in a tent in the general camping area the first night; but after watching the sunset from the top of a hill on the second evening, I decided I belonged out under the stars. For the next two nights, I slept on that hill, directly on the earth, and felt more at home than ever before.
On the third morning, I woke just before sunrise and sat to meditate facing east, awaiting the sun. I was in deep stillness with the desert. When the sun’s rays finally arrived, I was awash with light and felt moved to walk down towards one of the hot springs. I stripped and continued my meditation there, in the water. I moved my hands spontaneously through a variety of mudras (meditative hand positions), and aligned them with each one of my chakras in ways nobody had taught me to do. Then, all of a sudden, for what may have been a few seconds, minutes, or an eternity, I had complete comprehension of the totality of my life.
In that moment, I was the orchestration of every event. I grasped how every single experience was a magnificently articulated link in the chain of events that told the story of this life. I was past, present, and future all at once. It was all complete and it was all…perfect.
In that instant, even the events I’d spent years wishing they’d been different proved to be exactly as they needed to be. There was no possibility of me being there in the Arizona desert had anything in my life unfolded in any other way. It all brought me there. And as I touched that perfection, there was a feeling of destiny, of preordination. The tapestry of my life was already completely woven even as I found myself seemingly in the middle of it. The future had already occurred.
What if everything that occurs in our lives is exactly what was meant to happen?
We have mixed feelings about the concept of destiny. For one, the idea seems to negate our ability to shape our lives. If everything is already set, then perhaps we simply sit back and do nothing. And yet, there’s also a sense of peace that can come from the belief in things being as they were meant to be. The shoulders drop a bit. Relinquishing our notions of effort and control can paradoxically open us to greater faith and optimism.
But what if both destiny and free will are true? What if somehow that tapestry of our lives is already shaped in a sort of destiny, and that destiny is precisely to be the shapers, the weavers of that life?
That morning meditation in the Arizona hotspring was the most profound experience, but not the only time I’ve felt the certainty of all things being in divine order. The fact is, I can now find perfection in every experience. Every time I look for it, I find it, and the result is a profound inner peace with all of life.
We can find perfection in every challenging circumstance—every setback, every health challenge, and even the end of every relationship. Every setback can be not only an opportunity to grow, but also a blessing by creating the space for course-correction. Our health challenges can be some of our greatest teachers and tests of our faith, our courage, and our self-care—and can leave us with great wisdom and self-compassion. Embracing the end of relationships shows us how those relationships served us, how we grew from them, how they helped us become who we are.
When we allow what has already happened to be perfect, we take a bold stance to redefine the word perfection into meaning that whatever has happened is the perfect thing. This requires courage. All too often, we actually hate the result we’ve gotten. We feel anger, despair, or heartbreak.
If instead of slumping into defeat or resistance, we allow what is to be perfect, we find that our shift in attitude opens many more possibilities for action. We start to see perhaps a silver lining. We receive insights into new solutions and new pathways. We grow.
But what about injustice? What about human rights violations? What about environmental destruction? How can we accept any of these as being perfect or meant to be?
Each individual story of injustice, violation, and destruction is a tragedy in itself. The rightful emotion is anger because anger demands action. And yet, when instead of jumping to attack (which is often laden with resistance) we accept that whatever has happened cannot be changed, because past actions cannot be altered, we start to find new avenues to channel our anger towards fueling powerful solutions. Even the most heinous thing is the “perfect” outcome in the tapestry that laid the groundwork for it.
And here is where we find the intersection between destiny and free will.
In my life, I’ve experienced the shattering loss of my family at three years old, when my parents deeply wounded each other, along with the ensuing feelings of abandonment from my dad’s moving out. I experienced sexual assault in college, along with a decade of shame, anger, and resentment because of it. I experienced severe cystic acne and hormone problems as a result of the buried feelings from the assault. Despite how devastatingly painful these challenges were, I cannot wish any of them away. They are part of my perfect tapestry.
Each step of the journey has shaped me. I cannot be the healer I am today without any part of it. I am in complete peace with all of it. I can help others who’ve had similar experiences and choose to be a weaver in the collective tapestry of the healing of humanity so there is less injustice, less violation, and less destruction. I am better able to achieve this through embracing what is, rather than remaining in resistance.
Everything that has happened has been perfect; almost preordained. And from here I choose how to continue weaving.