QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"WE MUST BE WILLING TO LET GO OF THE LIFE WE HAVE PLANNED, SO AS TO HAVE THE LIFE THAT IS WAITING FOR US."
The other day, someone on this page was asking me if I was familiar with a certain Joseph Campbell quote, and when I went Internet-mining for it, I found this one, instead (attached below) which I now remember having written down years ago.
So today my question is twofold:
1) Do you guys believe this?
2) Can anybody out there smarter or more educated than me tell me if this quote actually belongs to beloved Uncle Joe Campbell, or is it really from E.M. Forster? Because I've seen it attributed to both men, and I can't find the origin.
Anyhow. As for me, I'm almost entirely on board with this notion. At times I think there is hardly anything, in fact, that I HAVEN'T needed to let go of it in order to get to the right place in my life/heart/mind. (As an obsessive planner and a bit of a clinger, this has not always been easy.) Yet when I think about this idea more carefully, I'm not sure it applies to every single circumstance. There are plans that I made for myself early in life and clung to with badger-like stubbornness (becoming a writer, namely) that it would have been personally disastrous of me to have abandoned. And yet so much else has had to be jettisoned…
If anyone has read my book "Committed", you may remember my story about my friend Christine, who — at the age of 40 — finally created a ceremony in which she gave up the idea of being married. Somehow as a child she had swallowed this idea that she would not be whole or a complete adult until she was a married woman. (Gee, I can't imagine where she might have picked up THAT concept! Thank you, media/family/thousands-of-years-of-Western-Civilization.) As she got older and remained single, she came to believe that what she called "the tyranny of the bride" was haunting and eating her real life, causing her to be stunted and limited — always waiting for marriage to come and confirm/legitimatize her life, rather than living her destiny. So, for her birthday, she built a gorgeous little toy-sized boat out of paper and balsam wood, meant to represent the old obsession with marriage. She filled it with petals and rice, waded it out into the ocean, set it on fire, and let it go. And walked back to shore to begin her real life.
What have you had to let go of? What have you fought to keep? How are we meant to know the difference?
And who the hell said this wise, lovely thing, anyhow???