March is the month of Leprechauns and luck and we fall into one of two groups: one who believes in luck and the ones who don’t.
About two years ago, I spent a few days in the land of the Irish when I spent a long weekend learning about the folklore of the country and as my husband and I ventured around the friaries of the early 14th century and learned about the significance of the Hawthorn tree and why it is called “The Fairy Tree.”
Growing up, I have never believed too much in the “Wear Green” rule on March 17th, but I always seemed to wish I had paid more attention to it when the childhood “pinches” for not wearing green came my way. My arm was usually more of a blue-green by the time the day was over.
Most people have this understanding and perception that luck is all about chance. That somehow, the powers of the universe are all that exist and nothing we do or say will impact what will happen. Don’t get me wrong – I do believe in the powers of the universe, but I do not believe that all power is generated from it.
When we assign that much power to anything, we are bound to flail about and feel helpless when life shows up. We toss our hands into the air as if to say, “See? I told you!” with a sense of gloom and dread as the ensuing of self-pity becomes apparent in our attempts at justifying what just happened with comments of, “He sure is lucky!” and “Wish I had her kind of luck!”
But luck is only part of the way things happen in our lives.
Believe it or not, the rest is really up to us.
Where luck falls away, we step in.
Or at least, we are supposed to step in.
So, we forget to do our part when it comes to making things happen in our lives and then wonder why.
For years, I have always believed that things happen for a reason. Although some things we would fight against tooth and nail to not happen, acceptance is the only way to allow those things to grant us peace. Otherwise, we are in a constant state of denial and turmoil that no amount of wishing, cursing, or hoping will ever change.
Have we forgotten to accept any responsibility to anything that happens in our lives?
Are we so naïve to think that nothing we do or say plays a part in anything that will happen in the future?
Sometimes, we miss out on things we really want.
That dream job with the corner office and six figure salary sure sounded ideal…the spot on the team was something we had worked towards for so long…the one acceptance letter from our first pick at college anxiously wait for by the mailbox.
But we are never offered that job, your best friend makes the team instead of you, and the letter never comes.
We cannot give life that much power – we must own some of it too.
In a sense, it allows us to feel less helpless and reminds us of the one thing we forget all the time…that we have a choice.
Our choices, no matter how small and even seemingly meaningless at the time, will create a ripple effect that we may not even realize until much later.
We are all subject to our own lives – complete with a past and experiences – and sometimes, we are in the right place at the right time.
It doesn’t always have to make sense and you may not even be able to “connect-the-dots” later as you try to rationalize the logic in it all, but you know it was real and that it mattered.
Who hasn’t attended a meeting with a bunch of strangers, never believing that anything worthwhile would come out of it as you tell yourself how much of a waste of time it was only to be reconnected with someone from that same meeting who remembered you, wanted to get to know you better, and offered you an opportunity you hadn’t really imagined being out there?
Who hasn’t left early in the morning to grab some donuts and coffee, wearing only your sweats and no make-up, only to run into an old flame from high school and as you exchange numbers you remember why this person was so special to you back then?
We have all read about those moments when near-misses occur that prevent great injury or death because of some fluke delay in dropping off the kids at daycare or we spilled coffee on our blouse.
Justifying why something has happened is a lot of work and can leave with us with more questions than answers.
Giving ourselves the chance to make our own decisions and to accept them for what does or does not happen gives us a better chance at finding luck than if we just threw a few chips down as the white ball spun around on the roulette table.
Personally, I prefer to not leave so much to random acts and I don’t believe in coincidences. There are forces out there that play a hand in what happens in our lives and maybe our reaction to those forces is where we choose to assign “luck.”
So call yourselves lucky if that makes you feel better. Tell yourself you were at the “right place at the right time” if that works for you too.
Either way, I believe they eventually meet and only we decide when.