Sometimes in life we find ourselves on a trajectory that is totally out of alignment with who we are. Often this is because we are doing what is “expected” of us or because we are following a societal norm, e.g. get a stable job, buy a house, get married, have children etc.
We know that we are on the wrong path because we are deeply unhappy, or we feel that we should be doing something else at the core of our being. These are clear signs that we are out of alignment with our True Self.
Sometimes we can have the courage and resolve to step off of that path and take a path that feels more in alignment with Who We Are. And sometimes we need the fortune of misfortune to catapult us onto a new trajectory.
I was reminded of this the other night when watching Disney’s Mulan with my boys (the original animated version). The plot is mostly inaccurate compared to the original story of Mulan, but I love the fairytale version none-the-less.
I’m going to share some of the sub-plot with you (and it’s not a spoiler – I promise), because it is easier to absorb, learn and integrate lessons through story…
The Tale of the Lucky Cricket
At the start of Mulan, we discover that the whole family has been praying to the ancestors to help Mulan bring honour to her family. She will be assessed by the Matchmaker, who decides who she will marry. These pairings can bring great fortune to the family or leave them rather disappointed. The problem is that Mulan is opinionated, headstrong and clumsy in a time and place where grace and obedience are valued in a woman, so Grandma decides to give her a “lucky cricket” to tip the scales of success.
So what does the cricket do? He single-handedly ruins Mulan’s assessment with the Matchmaker! Mulan is told that she will never make a bride and is sent home humiliated.
Right about now, that cricket’s not looking too lucky. In fact, the cricket himself starts to think he is unlucky (this is Disney after all). But as it turns out, that cricket was the luckiest thing that happened in Mulan’s life up to that point. That devastating, embarrassing failure, catapulted her onto a new trajectory that never would have been possible if the Matchmaker had selected a husband for her.
The truth is, Mulan wasn’t really wife material, but she made an incredible warrior and found the love of her life on the way… And she got the thing that she and her family TRULY wanted – honour. Honour is the thing that Mulan and her family had been praying for – they just didn’t see another path to honour outside of a fortunate marriage. But the Universe always takes the path of least resistance and finds the perfect trajectory for each individual.
So next time the path you chose fall to pieces, remember Mulan and her lucky cricket. Sometimes luck is found in a perceived misfortune that stops you from following a path that will lead to unhappiness, dropping you instead onto a path that will lead you towards fulfilment of your true desires. You still have to take that journey and climb the mountain to reach the peak – but as you work through the obstacles or battle with your own doubt and longing, remember this – you are exactly where you are meant to be at that moment and every step you take is pulling you towards your true desire, because as you ask, so it is given!