When I went back to school and thought my track was to get my PhD and become a professor, I felt I was on my path. Suddenly synchronicities lined up (they're the coincidences, chance encounters that happen that seem almost surreal by how well timed they are). I wasn't even spiritual then and I knew something bigger than me was happening. It wasn't the same experience of the world I had when I felt lost, without a purpose.
When I didn't get in despite feeling that it was certain, I thought I was knocked off my path. The grieving process was difficult- though it doesn't compare to the cycle after losing my mom, I was depressed and lost for many many months. My identity at that point was linked to my future as a professor and I take things to heart because I am sensitive. I had devoted two years strictly to academia, focused on my goal and suddenly it all seemed futile. Instead of trying again, I felt that force wasn't meant to be exerted. Some things aren't meant to be and the things that are meant to be will happen easily. It's not laziness, it's understanding opportunity, the difference between flow and resistance. Remember, when we force (which in this culture it's encouraged), we lose our energy and the harm comes back to us even if we push forward and obtain success for a short period.
What I didn't realize at the time was that the seemingly "knocked off my path" was actually PART of my path. These "bad" things had to happen so I could get further along on my path. For instance, if that didn't happen, and I wasn't struggling, I would NEVER have sought the help of an energy healer which at that time was totally alien and bullshit to me. I was desperate and nothing else was working. And that ultimately changed the course of my life, brought about a spiritual awakening and changed the way I relate to others and helped me to develop a whole new side of myself and my practice. What I found through my loss was more integral to my identity, as it is now the focus, than academia would've ever been.
If you look at the trajectory of my life objectively, it wasn't easy. I didn't get into a PhD program, I lost my mom, all in the short span of a year. But yet, this was the biggest year of my life in terms of opportunity. It's not hopeless optimism to learn to see the meaning behind losses. My mother passed the night of the new moon. I saw the healer on the night of the new moon. The new moon signifies opportunity. As much as it is all devastating, in ways it all amounts to liberation (not just for me, but for my mom too- she was sick for four years and there is nothing worse than seeing a parent suffer- or if you're me, experiencing their illness alongside them because you are clairsentient, which is amplified because it's your mom)
I'm not afraid of pain. I accept pain as a part of life. If you aren't in pain, you aren't growing, moving, changing, getting stronger. I accept loss. I know it means that there's new space to be filled with opportunity. Bad things aren't so bad, afterall. If someone else took all of our pain away, where would we be? We would never evolve.
My friend shared this article with me and you'll see why this relates