The year of living fearlessly

Another year is drawing to a close and I have been doing quite a lot of thinking about what lies ahead. That, in itself, is not unusual, I reckon. People often use the New Year as the place to plan new beginnings. It’s why people make New Year’s resolutions. I get that. It means that people believe they have some control over their lives: that they can endeavor to lose weight, get healthy, quit smoking, learn a new skill, whatever.

I’m doing that, too. I’ve been thinking about the new year for several weeks and I’m trying to wrap myself around a concept that I’m sure I have toyed with throughout my life, and that I am now ready to take to a new level.

This idea is not really a resolution, but if I can make peace with it, I’m sure it will make 2010 be an outstanding year for me. It has to do with fate. Or, more precisely, the opposite of fate. I don’t believe in fate, karma, kismet, destiny, coincidence or luck. Nor, do I believe that everything happens to us for a reason, although this last concept is the closest to how I feel. I believe simply that things happen. And, it is what we do with these things that shape who we are and direct our lives.

As I was searching the internet for a way to explain it to you, I stumbled upon a concept by author Craig Lock. He says that sometimes people come into your life and you know right away they were meant to be there, that they serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. Lock says that you never know who these people may be; your roommate, your neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

That’s good, I like it, but it’s not quite right. I mean, people don’t come into my life to teach me a lesson. They come for their own reasons, don’t they? They come because they have changed jobs or relocated or got a flat tire in front of my house. They come for any number of reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with me. And, I can also honestly say that I have never locked eyes with anyone and just knew we would affect each other’s lives in any profound way.

Lock also talks about the events that happen to us, that may be horrible or unfair, but by overcoming them, we realize our potential, strength and will power of heart.  He says everything happens for a reason and that nothing happens by chance.

Yes, I agree! Yet, I disagree some, too. These life events don’t happen to teach me anything. They just happen.

But, here’s the thing. I believe we can learn from the people we meet, they do create who we become and we can learn from each experience, both the awful ones and the good ones, if, and this is a big if, we choose to be open to them.

I want to share with you a lesson I learned from my new kitten, Charlie. Charlie came into our lives for his own reasons, which I’m sure included food and shelter. He leaped into the unknown because he needed assistance to survive. Our other three cats didn’t like him one bit. Sam Dog immediately took a liking to him, but it was unclear in the beginning if it was because Sam wanted to make friends or eat the little thing.

But, Charlie was fearless. He stood his ground when he was picked on. He pounced on the bigger cats when they shunned him. He didn’t back down or run from the big dog like the other cats do. And, he slowly worked his way into the family fold to make a place for himself even though the odds were against him.

Little kitten Charlie, with no intention of anything, but to survive, taught me that success comes to the fearless!

I didn’t know that Charlie would teach me such an important life lesson when he came up on our stoop that day. We didn’t lock eyes and just miraculously intuit that we would profoundly affect each other. But, it happened just the same.

So, as I reflect on 2009 and prepare for 2010, I am thinking about the people that led me to here. They couldn’t know the role they have played in my life, but here I am as proof!

I expect 2010 to be an epic year for me! 2010 is a new beginning. It is a year to be fearless. It is a year to try new things. Maybe I’ll even learn how to ice skate!

Wish me luck! Oh, wait, I don’t believe in luck.