Something I have been considering quite a lot lately is the concept of fate and destiny. Many people believe that these words can be used interchangeably, but there are many that argue they are different in definition: fate is out of our control, and destiny is what we are meant to do. In all honesty, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the two differing concepts, but I thought I would talk about it anyway.
The idea that we each have a pre-determined future which is set for us, as soon as we came to be (most likely before we were even born), is an interesting one. Imagine coming into this world as a baby knowing that your whole life has been mapped out and ultimately decided for you by an external power – one which we cannot change or control. Yes, I realise that we grow up and get on with our lives making decisions for ourselves every day. I assume this is why many people believe that, therefore, we choose our own destiny through decision making.
However, what if we didn’t really make any of those decisions and we just think we did? What if every decision you make in your life was already part of your pre-determined future which was in place before you were born? What if none of us are really making our own decisions or deciding our own fate and/or destiny at all? After all, none of us know what or who this external power is that ultimately decides our lives and future for us, so it makes sense that we would take credit and responsibility for what happens to us and the decisions we make. But perhaps we only do this because we are oblivious and do not understand how this external power is at work behind the scenes.
If you assume that the above is true, for argument’s sake, then would that mean that there is no such thing as free will? That it’s only an illusion and something we’re told we have? Surely if destiny and fate are in fact real, then nothing you do in your life will be able to change it or throw it off course; we may not have that kind of control. Hence, is there really such a thing as free will if none of our actions ultimately change or alter our lives? Do we really have control over our lives, or are we simply following our pre-determined future without knowing it?
On the other hand if you consider that free will is very much real, then would that mean that we truly are responsible for what happens to us and how our lives turn out? Does that mean that destiny and fate do not exist, or is there a possibility that they all exist, just to different extents or in different measures?
One idea I would like to talk about is two people who are meant to be together, also known as ‘soulmates’. Can we only ever have one soulmate, or many? The idea that each of us are only meant for one person on this entire planet of 7.6 billion people is so intriguing to me. Given that there an incredibly low probability of finding that one person in our short lifetimes, surely it’s not absurd to think that we are entitled to more than just one soulmate.
I’m not sure that I believe in ‘soulmates’, as in there is only one person for each of us, but I do believe that if two people are meant to be together then they will be. I do believe that an external power will bring those two people together, or will at least attempt to make their paths cross. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that we meet certain individuals for a reason (whether they are our soulmate or not). I believe that we are meant to learn something from these experiences, even if it doesn’t work out and that person leaves our lives as quickly as they came, like two ships passing in the night. I believe that there is a reason for all of this, and (to an extent) that there is an external power or supernatural force at work, pulling the strings without our knowledge all along.
Lucy Rebecca x