By Alan Cohen
When actress Meryl Streep was about to graduate from college, she planned to become a lawyer. She applied to law school and set up an appointment with an admissions officer. On the morning of her interview, she overslept and missed her appointment. At that point she decided she would rather pursue an acting career instead. And aren’t we glad? Meryl Streep is considered by many fans and critics to be the greatest living actress. She has garnered three Academy Awards out of 19 nominations, 6 Golden Globes out of 28 nominations, and a vast array of other acting awards, totaling 171 wins out of 260 nominations.
It was no accident that Meryl Streep overslept on the day of her admissions interview. While her intellect told her she should become a lawyer, her inner being recognized her grander destiny. On that crucial morning her soul commandeered her life path. What a loss to the world it would have been if Meryl Streep’s true talents were missed because she followed her mind rather than her heart!
You, too, have a destiny your soul has chosen. Your intellect may tell you one thing, but your soul continually prompts you to stay on course with your mission. In the first Superman movie, Superman’s parents, realizing that their planet was about to be destroyed, placed the baby Superman in a space capsule and propelled him off toward earth. During his long journey, a series of audio recordings taught Superman about his powers and purpose. By the time he arrived on earth, he knew who he was and what he was here to do.
Likewise, you and I were seeded with the awareness of our true identity, potential, and destiny before we came to earth. But then we forgot. The density of the three-dimensional world obscured our memory of our identity and our vision. But in spite of the distractions of the toys and trinkets of trivial purposes, your soul has not forgotten who you are and what you are here to do. Your inner being is constantly urging you to live in accord with your true mission.
We all have critical choice points, defining moments at which we are invited and urged to stay on track with our destiny. When I was 14 years old I was living in a bad part of town with many seedy influences. With pimples, braces, and a gawky body, my self-esteem was in the pits. I felt lost and alone. Then one day I received an invitation to attend a youth brunch at my synagogue. While I had no reason to attend—I was turned off to religion—something inside me urged me to go. There I met a young rabbi who gave an impassioned speech that stirred my soul. I became deeply involved in the temple youth group, the rabbi became my mentor, I associated with friends of a higher caliber, and my life changed entirely. That event and my relationship with my mentor were pivotal incidents in my life. They were my dates with destiny.
Perhaps you are now facing a critical choice point in your own life. “Should I be with a certain relationship partner?” “Should I leave?” “Where can I find a job that will bring me both passion and income?” “Where is my right home?” “What can I do to foster my health?” “What spiritual path belongs to me?”
While you may have spent a great deal of time and effort asking your mind, other people, and external sources for the answers to these important questions, you may not have asked your soul. The mind wonders, but the soul knows. Ask your soul to guide your destiny, and it will do so with amazing results. Use this powerful affirmation: “I now allow my soul to guide me to my highest destiny.” Your soul will immediately leap to respond. Love will have its way.
When you come to the end of your life, there is but one important question you will need to answer: “Was I true to my soul’s calling?” Did you follow your deepest guidance? Were you the person you came to be, and did you do the things you came to do? Do not assess your success by the yardsticks of achievement dictated to you by others. They are often shallow and do not apply to you. Assess your success by how much your outer life has aligned with your inner truth. Real achievement is more spiritual than material. Outer attainment means nothing if your soul is starving. Soul nourishment brings true value to life.
You can wander from your soul’s path, but you cannot lose it. Even the apparent detours are a part of the journey to your true destination. What seems to be an oversleeping that misses one appointment is really an awakening to keep your true appointment. The next time you see Meryl Streep in a movie, remember that soul stands at the helm of destiny, and all divinely guided appointments will be kept.
Alan Cohen is the author of A Course in Miracles Made Easy. For more information about this program, Alan’s Hawaii Retreat, free daily inspirational quotes, and weekly radio show, or visit www.AlanCohen.com