Seeking Permission to Live


Seeking Permission to Live

As I was writing last week’s blog article about destiny, I had an aha moment. I began thinking about the role that destiny (the concept of destiny) had played in my life. Then, a sudden realization hit me: for me, the belief in destiny (or the desire to believe in destiny) has been me seeking permission to live my life. Essentially, me needing reassurance.

It is in human nature to seek evidence. The world around us is full of stimuli that needs to be interpreted. Every second of the day our mind is taking in raw data. Our mind needs to process this information so that we react appropriately.

If for instance, we place our hand on a hot stove, sensory input will be sent to our brain. Our brain interprets this as a threat (ouch, hot). Then, triggers the appropriate reaction: take our hand off the stove.

The Big Bad World

Because of the sheer amount of sensory data that our brain takes in every second of the day, a filtering process needs to occur. Life would be horribly distracting if we had to react to every tiny thing in our day to day existence. Within a few moments, we would be completely overwhelmed.

Early in life, long before we learn to walk or talk, our brain creates filters to cope with the sheer amount of sensory data. Like Internet search engine filters, these mechanisms focus on a few given perimeters and everything else is ignored. Thus, instead of being distracted by the color and smoothness of the stove that is burning us, the bird that is chirping outside, or a million other different instances, our brain focused on the threat at hand. Ouch, hot.

As we grow and experience more of the world, our brain filters need to become more complex. This is where core beliefs come in. Essentially, we subconsciously build up a system of rules then seek evidence to substantiate those rules.

What is Normal?

So if we grow up in a two parent household, we will assume that is the norm. If we then go to school and many of our friends also have two parents we will determine that this is a rule. That it is normal (right) to have two parent households. From that point on, all evidence to the contrary becomes dismissed or ignored. This programming is deeply embedded, so if we decided in adulthood to raise a child alone, we might judge ourselves or feel the need to explain ourselves.

It would seem that, for me, the concept of destiny is one of those core beliefs. If something is destined it is the ultimate permission. The universe is supporting me in that particular effort and therefore I can’t go wrong. I can’t fail.

Everything Will Work Out Just Fine

The down side of that is that few of us actually get a burning bush sign. The angels don’t drop out of the sky and say “Hey, don’t sweat it. Everything is going according to plan.” So destiny is one of those concepts that we continue to seek evidence about on a subconscious level.

If you think about it though, it’s the ultimate ego trip. Those with a destiny aren’t simply making choices and living with the consequences, doing the best they can, they are doing things because someone else has control over their fate. There is no responsibility for their choices and actions. Ultimately, we are all either winners or losers. The chosen or the masses.

When it comes down to it, the concept of destiny is just another means to distract ourselves from taking responsibility for our actions and living the life we have the best we know how. If we aren’t chosen, then we also have the ultimate excuse not to try anything scary. After all, we might not be destined to be happy, find the love of our life, or be successful.