Luck: Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own action (google dictionary). Luck. Let's together be more aware of how we use this word to define ourselves and others.
Am I extra lucky to have embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime traveling adventure? Or perhaps I was destined to do so? Is it possible that I played a direct role in the outcome of how my family chose to handle the pandemic? Is it feasible that this grand experience was left to chance?
Filled with gratitude, I have been wondering for days, how or why some are so "lucky" while others seem to get the raw end of the stick.
Robert De Niro famously said, "the talent is in the choices". I have come to the conclusion that the choices we make are the ones that ultimately carry us to the places that we end up. But those good choices are best made when we act on instinct and listen to our intuition, which is how I think G-d communicates with us. (I don't want to scare anyone off with the semantics here, so I will use G-d, the universe, and the supreme energy source interchangeably because, in my opinion, they all are the same exact thing.)
When I got married at the young age of twenty-one, my husband wanted to leave Miami and move to New York City. Initially, I said no. I was afraid to leave home, I was afraid of the unknown, and I was afraid of how we would survive in the notoriously difficult city with no money or income. For the next few months, my attention kept being pulled back to relocating but was always quickly shushed loudly by my trepidations. I continued to toss the idea until I finally realized that my intuition was sending me strong signals to make the move. And so we did.
So, were we lucky to have made a life for ourselves in New York City? Was it the ability to tune in with the messages that the universe was sending me that allowed us to take a big risk and jump into the unknown with only a leap of faith? How would our lives have turned out if I listened to my fearful voices and not the calling of the energy source that was pulling me to the northeast?
Similarly, when I first suggested taking this road trip to my husband, I never thought he'd jump on the idea. As soon as I realized that he seriously wanted to pursue months on the road, I started to pull back. More fears. How much would this cost us? How would this affect the kids? What if we catch Covid-19 because one of the hotels or homes we would rent wasn't thoroughly sanitized? What if we got stuck in a big city during more riots? What if the country ran out of toilet paper again and we'd be far from the safety stash we were storing at home? The anxiety kept creeping into my ability to clearly see what an incredible opportunity we could create for our family. Once more, I ultimately listened to my gut. My inner voice told me to trust in the universe and follow its leads. And so we did.
These are only two examples of thousands more where I almost didn't move forward with something which ended up being a huge blessing. On the other hand, there are also thousands of bad decisions I have made over the years that have carried repercussions with them because I acted on impulse and didn't sit still long enough to connect with my intuition. In either scenario, I don't think I was lucky or unlucky. Instead, I think I either made good or poor decisions. If we keep allowing those fears and negative voices to dominate our lives and clout our abilities to think optimally and make good choices, then we are not unlucky- we are just making poor decisions and as a result, we perpetuate a cycle of bad outcomes for ourselves.
I have always taught my children that humans are born with a real superpower, one that is as awesome as the ones their favorite superheroes have: you guessed it, we are born with the superpower of intuition. Everyone has it, everyone. Some just listen to it more than others. Some have ignored their gut so long it rarely speaks up anticipating being ignored once more. Many have even shared with me that they can't recognize whether their voice of fear is actually derived from the fear itself or from their intuition telling them to avoid the thing in question and as a result, they feel lost.
An ability to relent is crucial. When trusting that the universe has the best intentions for us we place ourselves in a vulnerable position. But when we let go of the thoughts, the ones that want to hold us back from accomplishing so much, and we tune in to the source of energy within us, we begin to realize that we have choices to make that impact our lives. We need to let go of control and trust that our positive energy will attract the positive energy of the universe. If we want the decisions to yield successful results we need to trust our inner voices and thank G-d/the universe/the supreme energy source etc that it speaks to us, promise to follow its lead, and thank it each and every day for guiding us to where we are and where we are headed. This is probably the most important relationship we can nurture in our lives.
Think about your brain as a computer. Whatever you input affects the outcome. If we keep telling ourselves we can't, well then...we won't. We can't then revert to convincing ourselves that we are unlucky because the things we hope for never manifest. We consciously make the choice to hinder ourselves by telling ourselves that we cannot access a goal, a dream, a desire. The vicious cycle begins once we persuade ourselves of our seemingly bad fortune which places us in the role of victimhood again and again and again.
Consider the people you personally know who are perpetuating specific patterns through their choices. There are some who thrive on the drama in their lives. Somehow, they can't see that they are choosing to have friction in their lives by not making the choice to remove themselves from these dramatic situations. Are they unlucky to have so much conflict around them or have they made bad choices that continuously allow drama to surround them? What about those who have convinced themselves they cannot splurge on superfluous luxuries that they think they cannot afford because they have become so trapped in the idea of saving money? Are they unlucky or have they made the choice to save for the future rather than enjoy the present moment? We all know folks who have convinced themselves they have no money and therefore are bound to a life full of struggle. I personally know people who may not have enough money to get them through the next month but they are still happy, see the blessings they do have, and are able to enjoy their lives fully. Even with financial struggles, they choose to be happy and so they are. We all are familiar with others who are examples of those who make intentional, or unintentional, choices to continue specific cycles in their lives. But what about ourselves? It is crucial that we find the patterns that we have created in our own lives, good and bad, and make the deliberate choice to break free from the ones that hold us back from reaching our potential and fulfilling our dreams.
There have been many strifes in my life along with the many blessings. Three c-sections, two knee surgeries, a very difficult pregnancy, thyroid nodules that won't stop growing, friends who have taken ridiculous advantage of me... but I insist that these circumstances played out the way the universe planned them to. Rather than dwell on the heartache I choose to see the positives in these difficult situations as well. My c-sections gave me three beautiful children, my tragic pregnancy brought me a daughter I may not have had otherwise, my knee surgeries give me an excuse to opt out of skiing allowing me time for myself while my family enjoys the slopes, my thyroid nodules force me to focus on my health, and the realization of letting bad people into my life pushed me to clean up my circle of friends. There are way more extreme cases that I grapple with understanding: children born with diseases, people born into circumstances that seemingly have no hope, etc. There are horrible life events that are difficult to fathom but I still don't believe they are merely a result of chance. Unfair, yes. Unlucky, I am not so sure. There is a greater force, an energy, that propels us into certain circumstances that test us, and even end us, when its been decided that our time has come to an end.
It is hard to work through those negative voices that perpetuate in our minds but we must remember that they are separate from our true essence. When they enter we must simply politely invite them to leave so that we can stay connected to our ultimate truth.
I guess it is easy to reference luck if we have no authentic connection to the laws of the universe and the power of the divine energy around us. But, for those who do have a spiritual connection to the greater power, I hope by sharing this you can see that there is no way luck exists when you truly believe in a greater force that ultimately responds to the way we respond to it.
Do you believe in luck? Please drop me a note, I'd love to hear others' perspectives!