Original art credit: Charles Fettinger (cc 2.0)
You may have experienced situations in life where you felt there was just no point fighting "it" anymore... whatever the challenge it was you were facing. And someone may have said to you, "Why fight the inevitable?"
There are times when we just feel like giving up and letting things be and turn out how they going to turn out. There are times when the expected result seems inevitable.
But, the question is: How do we know when something is inevitable? How do we know there still isn't a chance it won't turn around? How can we be sure that something won't occur that will completely change the expected result?
Many people are given a few months to live and yet years later are still alive and well. I have an uncle who was given one year to live unless he changed his life habits. Well, he didn't change his habits, and he was still alive 30 years later. So obviously, while the doctor thought his demise was inevitable, it wasn't.
What Are The Odds?
There's always a chance that things will be different, even if it's a small one. I had to take my dog to the veterinarian the other day for a dislocated hip. Since the accident happened on a Saturday evening, I wasn't able to take him to the vet until Monday. The vet told me that since it wasn't reinserted right away, that she couldn't do the procedure.
Not happy with that answer, I went to another vet a few days later. They basically told me the same thing, but that for $600 - $800 they could "try" to reinsert it and that it had a 75% chance of falling back out. So, in their mind, because of the 75% chance it would probably just fall back out. The message they were sending me was that it was inevitable that it would fall back out. But what happened to the 25% chance? Why did 75% count as inevitable?
Giving Up Before the End of the Race?
A lot of times, I think we give up because the odds are against us. I recall when I was in my first year at university participating in a 30 mile walkathon. Now, I had no idea that you were supposed to prepare for those things by training and building up to it, and apparently no one told me either. So on the morning of the walk, I put on my running shoes, and took the bus to the starting point.
The walk was great. It was fun. Yet when I got to mile 29, I was rather tired, to say the least. As I approached the last mile, I saw that it was uphill. Well, that did it! I just stepped off to the side and sat down, and said, "That's it! I'm done. I'm not going any further!" My friends tied to talk me out of it, but the last mile being uphill was just more than I could handle. So I said, "I'm done!" and stayed sitting by the side of the trail.
However, after resting for a while, I realized one thing. If I stayed where I was, I would never get home. I had to walk the last mile to get to the bus stop. So of course, I got up and trudged my way all the way to the top of the hill, and then to the bus stop, and then home.
So there's an instance where something truly was inevitable. The final mile had to be walked. However, now that I think about it, if I'd sat there long enough, some other solution would have come up. They had emergency personnel on hand. So if I'd absolutely not been able to walk, they'd have come to get me in a golf cart or something.
So even something that seemed inevitable, like the last mile up that hill, really wasn't.
And What About Now?
These days, I sometimes also question the inevitability of things. While 1 + 1 does equal two, sometimes, just because we expect two things that happen to lead to another "inevitable" conclusion, it doesn't necessarily turn out that way.
I remind myself of that anytime I feel like giving up. One never knows what is around the corner and what will happen to change the course of events. Looking at our current political situation (not just in the US but in a lot of other countries) some people may feel that a foregone conclusion is inevitable. Just like some people think that Armageddon is inevitable, or the end of the world, or death from disease.
What if things become inevitable only because we let them be so. What if we only die of cancer because we give up at some point, even if only unconsciously? What if we die of old age only because we don't take care of ourselves and also because we believe that's just how it is? What if our belief that something is inevitable is what actually makes it so?
What's Your Choice?
When I was in my 20s I had a very strange experience. I had spent a few days in New York and was driving out of the city. Now being a country girl, I wasn't very comfortable or adept at merging onto freeways. As I came off the incoming ramp and merged into traffic, I looked up and there about 10 feet from me, heading straight into me, was this huge semi-truck. It was inevitable that it would hit me.
Yet I heard myself scream Noooo! and the next thing I remember is being somewhere down the road driving down the freeway back towards home. So somehow the inevitable accident didn't occur. Was it because I shouted NO! that I somehow was saved from the fate that was staring me in the face? Was it because I didn't accept that this was happening?
I don't know, but I do know that while it sure looked like I was done for, I wasn't. So in many other situations in life, just because it looks like there's no way out, don't believe it. Don't accept that there's no solution. Keep looking for one! Keep your mind and your intuition open to other ways to get through your challenge.
Just because someone says something is impossible, this only means that they think it's impossible. It doesn't make it so. This reminds me again of the quote from Alice in Wonderland (one of my favorite quotes):
"There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
So nothing is inevitable unless we believe it is so. We need to constantly be open to suggestions whether from others, or from our inner voice. Don't say no to life! Don't say no to a better future!
Say yes to possibilities! Say yes to growth, to change, to a better future. Make a positive outcome be the sure thing in your mind. That way you feed the future you desire rather than an inevitable.
The Infinite View offers tools and insights needed to help readers transform their understanding of themselves and the world around them.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
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