If the path of one’s life is already predetermined and our choices cannot change the outcome, doesn’t that cause you to feel disempowered? I have to offer gratitude to my friend for asking me this very question. It is an excellent question.

Can we really be disempowered to know that our destination has already been set? Is it disempowering to know that a highway exists between New Jersey and California and that driving your car west will eventually take you there?

The reality is that there are many roads that lead to California, many intersections, towns and cities along the way. Too numerous are the choices you could make traveling from one place to another. The trip could take you six days or sixty years.

Wouldn’t it in fact be empowering that if your path was to get to California, no matter what your choices, eventually you would achieve that very dream? That would make failure an illusion, wouldn’t it?

Ok, so say it’s true, your destiny already predetermined. If that’s discouraging you, then sit there and do nothing. That would be a choice in itself and who is to say it wasn’t exactly what you came here to experience. It would be the same to sit a child in a room and say “You’ve been given life so now you will die. Just sit here and do nothing. Why bother, you’re going to die anyway.”

How empowering to know you have a destination, a purpose and that you don’t know what it is. It’s like driving through a thick fog. Don’t worry about making a right turn or a wrong one. Each choice will teach you for the next time. How will you know what is right if you have never been wrong? How great to know that eventually the Journey will be exactly as it was intended.

However, none of this really has anything to do with you not being able to choose your experiences at all. After all life is not a destination. It is in the Journey that there is life.

Osho says, “If you are too afraid of life, it is like fighting the darkness with a sword. You will be defeated. You can bring a sword and try to defeat the darkness but you will only be exhausted. And finally the mind will think darkness is so powerful, that’s why I am defeated.” The reality is darkness doesn’t exist, so how could you ever defeat it. It is an illusion of mind. Darkness only exists when the light is removed. You cannot remove the darkness. Only the light is real.

We are given opportunities every day on how to choose to experience life. We choose our profession, where we want to live. We choose our car, our friends and whether or not we want to raise a family. We even choose our perspective. Do we want to live in the past, the future or in the moment we are currently aware. We even choose to believe we have no choices at all.

There is however a difference in whether the choices we make create happiness in our lives or if we find ourselves continually suffering and empty of the things we are searching for. Here is where the power of choice can make or break that trip across country.

Firstly it’s important to understand that we are all twins, mortal and immortal. Our physical body, mind or ego we’ll call it is mortal, and will eventually pass away. Our soul, our essence or energy source is immortal and can never die. The mind running the programs of childhood and society is always making choices and behaving in ways it has been taught. The soul needs nothing from you. It is filled with love of self and already knows the Journey. It knows how beautiful, intelligent and innocent you really are.

When we live our lives through mind, we are strong and we keep our feelings buried deep inside us so that no one can hurt us. We make choices believing we are in charge of so much and strive to be number one and better than our co-worker, neighbor or friend. It is in this state of mind we’re searching for validation as the ego is a persistent parasite that needs to feel it matters and recognition from others gives us a sense of purpose.

Osho states that living this way we become like a tall oak tree. But what happens when the storm comes? The oak tree falls to the ground and dies. Life after all waits for no man and happens even to the great oak. “Be as the grass,” he says. “Although a small child could pull it from the earth, the storm cannot blow it away. The worst that can happen is it is cleansed.”

We need to bend with life because we do not know what is coming. Once you believe you are in control and certain of things, you are lost. Being the grass simply means you always try your best. You make choices from your heart and believe in yourself. What comes may be good or it may be bad. Either way you learn something about yourself and you mature knowing that what you are experiencing is exactly what was intended. Being the grass means you already know how valuable you are and whether another says you’re good or you’re bad, it makes no difference at all because you know your own worth.

Paul Chek gave me a great analogy once. Imagine your ego and your soul driving a car. Both stuffed behind the wheel making their own choices about where you’re going. The risk of injury and death rise significantly. When we are tired of suffering and being empty, we realize who needs to be driving and graciously sit our ego down in the passenger seat.

This certainly isn’t to suggest that we stop making choices just that we begin making choices with our heart and not our mind. When we are empty in relationships, it is only because we are not full with self, our soul, and so we continually allow the wounded ego, the inner child, to make our choices for us living reactive instead of undefended and innocent. When we are unaware of our own innocence the Journey of life becomes a path of barbed wire and explosives.

So it is here I would like to discuss the cycle of suffering. What life is like when the ego is driving the car and the heart/soul is sitting quietly in the passenger seat.

The cycle of suffering is hard to break. We walk through our life with false ideas searching for love from everything but ourselves. We create an experience which brings us pleasure, we are so happy. Then things start becoming less perfect and mild suffering begins. Because we are doing the creating the suffering begins to intensify and we find it necessary to find another experience. Just as long as it’s different from what we are currently suffering in.

So we leave that experience and soon find another. The new experience makes us happy and brings us pleasure. Then once again there is something wrong with this experience too and low and behold that mild pain of suffering rises up inside our gut and already we sense a new experience is necessary. The cycle never stops. When I get this, I’ll be happy. When I am done in school, then I’ll be happy. When I find my soul mate, then I’ll be happy. It’s so foolish really. Can you see? The little pearl inside a clam at the bottom of the ocean and every day it wonders where is the ocean?

The only way to stop this process and the suffering that you cannot avoid by listening to the wounded ego is to step outside yourself. Make a conscious effort to stop creating experiences that feed your ego and choose instead to sit quiet and become intimate with what your soul is trying to give you. What you receive can become the foundation of your choices. This is where love and wholeness exist. This is where you will find peace.

The soul will discourage you from feeling safe and secure. It will tell you to venture into the unknown and into your fear. After all that is where life is. When you stay safe and secure, sure of what is coming tomorrow and next day, you are dead. Fear and doubt are where new experiences and true love of life wait for you.

This is a very painful place to be as it forces you to be present with all the negativity your mind is filled with about yourself. You will feel empty and shameful, guilty and worthless and your soul will smile and begin loving you while you listen to the lies of your ego.

There are some who believe that when you do this, you lose yourself, your identity or worse that you’ll suffer horribly without your attachments. I want to ask you a question. Who’s suffering? The one stuck in the cycle of constant disappointment, longing and depression or the one who chooses to suffer one last time to become so full of self and unattached to exist in the flow of life?

It is not my intention to say attachment is bad. We are after all attached to the air, our food and water. What is not serving is attaching our value and love for self to an external source.

Imagine that kind of love this way. You’re in the water and you constantly have to kick your feet and move your arms to stay afloat. You cling to material things for rest and happiness yet you find you have to swim harder to keep these things that are making you happy. Then you find another swimmer with their material things and together you cling to one another and your stuff and eventually each of you begins to drown.

Getting to know your own soul and filling up with love for yourself is like becoming a raft on the water. Wherever you float is where God wants you to go and whatever material things you do own simply rest along side you.

Imagine how it would feel for a raft to bump up against another raft. How free and peaceful it would feel to experience each other without the need to cling. More likely is a raft to come in contact with a desperate swimmer. The raft has no choice but to allow the swimmers frantic fingers to fall short of a firm grasp. It is intelligent enough to understand the purpose of suffering.

So why are you suffering? Is it because of the guilt that you couldn’t meet the needs of your parents? Is it the shame that you weren’t good enough for them to love you or good enough for them to stay together? Maybe you felt you needed to care for your mother because your father was not doing a good job or vice versa.

The way to free yourself from your suffering is to realize your innocence. Anything you can remember about being a child that brings you pain must be embraced as something you had nothing to do with. You were a little child and not responsible for the way your parents behaved.

You’re parents gave birth to you in order to fill themselves with love and you came into the world a blank slate unaware that you were already love and grew attempting to receive love from parents who had none to offer themselves. This is when we lose ourselves and the Journey of life begins. Only the bravest of souls can find their way back to the child, back to being only love.

How do we do this? How is one so busy in mind supposed to build a relationship with their soul?

Sitting quiet as little as twenty minutes five times a week can begin to change your life. The process is slow to start as the soul knows exactly what you are willing to receive.

It’s as though you were sitting in a dark room for a very long period of time. The only window in the room is covered by a black shade and the sun is brilliant and beaming on the other side. If that shade were to all of a sudden snap open, the light that would fill the room would cause you to go blind. The soul takes the opportunity of these quiet times and begins the process of slowly lifting the shade allowing just enough light in until you’ve adapted.

So one day your sitting quiet and your soul will tell you, “Hey you know that guy you wanted to buy that used car from? That car is junk and although it looks good, we need to look somewhere else.” This may sound crazy but for me it’s exactly what the experience was like. Each day my soul would share tiny little pieces of information.

Once I became better at quieting my thoughts, the information started to grow in intensity. The more I would listen, the quicker I would resolve the things in my life that were causing me to feel empty and being present with my soul was beginning to fill me up.

There was one suggestion my soul made to me as the process continued. It suggested that I “attempt” to live every day with compassion, grace and non-judgment. It told me that it knew I would fail but in attempting I was moving closer in relation to the Divine. No small task. As soon as I started to practice this everyone I came in contact with was negative and nasty.

With a great deal of effort the process of living the way my soul was suggesting became effortless and I was filling up with love for myself by showing others these respects. The reality was I was showing these very virtues towards myself. I was beginning the process of parenting myself and growing myself up.

I can tell you that there is nothing you have to do that is more important or more exciting than meeting with yourself every day. It certainly beats existing in a House of Mirrors where you get to bump up against your wounds and your programming. Either you recognize this suffering or you’re just to numb to it.

As Joseph Campbell so beautiful illustrates in his book The Hero of a Thousand Faces – “Making choices from your heart will lead you into a life of integrity in which doors will open for you that for anyone else would be impossible”.

So choices are terribly important. They are living within every second and every breath of your day. They effect every situation, every relationship, conversation and outcome.

Is it truly disempowering to know that the path of your life is already chosen? You could spend 100 years figuring out where that place is.

Making choices from your heart simply creates a Journey and a lifetime of living through love instead of living through the minds fearful illusions which can make those 100 years a living hell.

Please choose your experiences wisely. There is nothing here but God. There is nothing here but Love.

Author's Bio: 

Kris Timpert has spent years studying under Paul Chek at the C.H.E.K (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Institute after nearly being paralyzed 15 years ago. She has achieved C.H.E.K Level IV, Holistic Lifestyle Coach III, Golf Biomechanic, PPS Mastery Practitioner as well as being hand picked by Paul as a Mentor for his Personal, Professional and Spiritual Growth Program. Kris is also a Neuromuscular Therapist, Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Intuitive Consultant through the Holistic Institute in New York City and a regular contributing writer to the Fulcrum newsletter. She has also been published in the C.H.E.K Report and Holistic Discoveries Magazine.