Back when I was doing psychic readings, a client sent me a question I’ll never forget. One line, all caps, no punctuation:
“WHEN DO I RECEIVE MY DESTINY”
How do you even answer that? To be honest, though, they had cut to the chase and neatly summarized so many of the other clients’ issues. Take out the background stories, the emotional wheedling, the twisted justifications and promises, and that’s the kernel hiding in every request for a reading:
“I want something, so when do I get it?”
Not how, but when. As if life is a story that’s already written, the author owes us a happy ending, and we can skip ahead to see the whole plot line.
Well, life is a story, that’s true. And linear time isn’t real; the past, present, and future are all happening in one instant. I’ll give you that.
The catch is that there are an infinite number of pasts, presents, and futures. Every moment is a crossroads with any number of paths shooting off in all directions. In a universe of endless possibilities, your actions and attitudes determine which ones become real for you. Other people are making their own choices as well, and since you can only control yourself (you can control yourself, right?), your power ends where other lives begin.
Just because you’ve chosen a mate, that doesn’t obligate them to choose you. Your emotions may be so strong that it feels like destiny, but if the object of your affections has other plans, it’s just not gonna happen.
You may want a big pile of money. You may even deserve it. But if you’re waiting for it to just magically fall into your lap instead of taking action, you’re going to be disappointed.
Not even if you check the tarot cards every single day.
(Please stop checking the tarot cards every single day. It’s not helping.)
You Have the Free Will to Make Your Own Destiny
Look: the only guarantee in life is a beginning and an ending. You are the author of everything that happens in between. Yes, the circumstances into which you’re born dictate some opportunities and limitations, but no one is automatically bound for greatness, or perfect love, or fabulous wealth. Or whatever you feel just has to be because you want it so badly. It’s a work-in-progress, and you’ll only see what your destiny was as you look back and understand that whatever happened was only the most probable result of the choices you made along the way.
Your choices determine most of what happens to you. Sure, sometimes people will try to choose for you, and in some situations you may have to abide by their rules, but you still get to decide how you feel about that and whether you want to change it. There are magical ways of influencing others’ choices (though it’s not a good idea to mess with someone else’s free will too much…get deep enough into that kind of thing and you’ll end up in marketing, and no one wants that).
Your friendly neighborhood psychic can help you figure out which actions would be most beneficial to make your dreams come true, or point out some of the flaws in your expectations and help you come up with new ideas that are more in accordance with the laws of probability (which, before you say it, are not the same thing as destiny). If you’re not taking responsibility, though–if you’re not making intelligent choices and acting in accordance with those choices–your “destiny” is never going to be anything but a nice daydream.