Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
When you are busy making other plans…
If someone other than John Lennon had written those beautiful lyrics, no one would pay attention to this great statement. No one would be sharing it through Facebook and Twitter, and no one would stop to think about the lyrics: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans…”
It really hits the nail on the head, yet at the same time it’s hard to admit it while making endless plans for an easier life.
My mom raised me. Even at the age of 80, she still thinks she can control her life, as well as those of her loved ones. I was programmed to be a great planner. When I think back, what probably saved my life was spending time with my grandma, who was quite unlike my mother. According to my mom, you could be perfect with a little good planning, just modern women around the world. It seemed reasonable to me then, because I wanted to be like her: popular, active, and able to juggle a thousand tasks at once. Remember that this was a long time ago, before women’s magazines started telling us about the benefits of multitasking and how we can become the perfect businesswomen, mother, lover, friend, and so on. It was only possible if I could plan everything in a perfect way, such as my time, my activities, my days, my months, and my years.
All that time, I was busy making plans, but by some chance, my grandma told me, “Don’t worry, dear child. Whatever is meant to be will be. Just listen to your heart, and I’ll keep on praying for you.” It always reassured me somehow. I kept on planning, and she continued praying…
Later, as I grew up and became increasingly educated, I learned more about planning and preparing, but life started to become more complicated. The more I planned, the more that life slipped through my hands. Life threw some curveballs that rendered all my preparations useless. During this complete loss of control, I could hear the sweet voice of my grandma reassuring me, “Don’t worry, dear child. Whatever is meant to be will be. Just listen to your heart, and I’ll keep on praying for you.”
What we call the modern attitude keeps pushing us toward an illusion. It’s the illusion of a controllable life, a life that is like a mathematical formula. It claims that we can understand all the variables and predict the outcomes, so we can design the outcome according to our wishes. We make our plans, and everything seems to go so smoothly at first, but then something unpredicted happens. We find ourselves in a turmoil and experiencing a total loss of control over our lives. In some cases, we persistently try to steer ourselves back to the desired direction, believing it’s best for us. There we encounter so much resistance that we become really hurt, and the situation becomes rather pathetic.
I would like to add that at this point, if we are lucky, life hurts us so much that it forces to understand how the world and the universe really work. Life has its own plans for every one of us, and it’s a much wiser planner than us. All it really wants is for us to live for our own good. There’s only one thing we can be sure of in life: Everything happens for our own sake. Nothing is down to good luck, nor is anything the fault of someone else. It’s also not about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Everything happens exactly where and when it is supposed to happen, and wisdom lies in the belief that life isn’t dangerous when it’s not controlled by an intelligent mind. Life is a great experience that should always be appreciated, no matter what happens. Everything constantly changes, and it’s wiser not to resist this. Life is a great experience if we accept that its purpose is to nurture the faith in our hearts.
Many other grandmothers know it. Some learned it through tough experiences, while others are born with this knowledge. The lucky ones have such grandparents whispering into their ears at a very early age, long before reality starts educating their minds. They say, “Don’t worry, dear child. Whatever is meant to be will be. Just listen to your heart, and I’ll keep on praying for you.”