I was sitting on a loveseat during the Shabbos after Rosh Hashana (that is, nine days ago), meditating on the coming year and considering the different paths into which I might invest time and energy. I have many possible projects: computer work, blog, publishing completed novel, writing next novel, creating phone app, hosting podcast/show, etc. For the past few months, my mind has repeatedly come back to these options, like a tongue worrying over a missing tooth. What to do? Where to focus? What to choose?
And as I sat on the loveseat, the answer that blossomed strongly in my mind was, “It doesn’t matter. They’re all the same.”
The larger context that came with this message: The Master arranges my experiences in such a way that what needs to arise for me will arise for me. If I need a lesson in patience or humility, it will surely come. If there are insights I’m supposed to share, the opening will present itself. It doesn’t matter which path I choose, what road I follow. The Master will ensure that it leads where I need to be going.
And I felt a large burden ease. The weight of needing to make my life worthwhile, to ensure that at the end of my life (may it be far from now!) I will not look back with regret, or feel I’ve wasted such a precious gift, or squandered invaluable opportunities. The responsibility (which I’ve felt from a young age) to do something important with my life.
Instead, my obligation is to be as present as I can in the arising moments, and make the best choice I can for each circumstance. And to trust that The Master will ensure that the right things result over the larger sweep of time.
That, in and of itself, is plenty of work!
And I’m sure my mind will attempt returning to its old habit of pondering and measuring different large-scale options for my life.
But at least now I have an answer to these creeping thoughts that habitually try to direct my life: it doesn’t really matter so much, because in the larger sense, all the roads are the same. Just be on the road you take.
May you enjoy the arising moments of the day, and may you trust that the series of small choices you make throughout the day will lead you where you need to go in the year ahead.