“You are where you need to be.” I see that sentiment, expressed with varying syntax and illustrated by various personalities, float through my Facebook News Feed and in through my inbox usually once a day. It strikes dissonant chords in me, to be quite honest. Because of my personal lens on life and on how Spirit works, while I find it reassuring on one level, I’m not sure I fully believe it. Maybe that’s just the misfit in me, or the seeker always drawn to question the commonly-held. Let’s see…
Are you where you need to be? Really, you’re quite sure? Yes, I realize that “need” is different from “want.” Many of us, at any given hour of any given day, could quite easily own that we’re not exactly where we would like to be (and there’s probably a Key to the Kingdom in that thought). But are we exactly—or in some cases maybe even remotely—where we would best be served, spiritually speaking? Are we in the place Spirit wants us to be? Are we staying stuck in a place that makes it hard for Spirit to be heard?
Certainly Spirit can work for you and through you wherever you are. And, as Stephenie Zamora points out in her piece in the Huffington Post, the phrase itself is not meant to provide a copout or an escape from personal accountability. But, think about it, how often is something we say with one intention, heard by the listener through a completely different understanding? And, from many possible perspectives, “You are where you need to be” rings with a pretty comforting vibe of “sigh and relax.”
I feel more comfortable, personally, getting wholeheartedly behind Jon Kabat Zinn’s, “Wherever You Go, There You Are.” I read that as a reminder to look around, take stock and be mindfully present in this moment. One aspect of that presence is a concurrent assessment of how “right,” or beneficial, various aspects of our Now feel to us. Admittedly, in some this evaluation could breed dissatisfaction. But genuine mindfulness usually travels with its sister skill, Radical Acceptance. We are aware, and we accept—and optimally are grateful for—what we have to work with in this moment. And that awareness has room for acknowledgement of the next active step(s) in our personal growth and development.
I would assert that, perhaps more helpful than “You are where you need to be,” could be something like, “Wherever you are, Spirit works with you.” This, to me, sounds less like you’ve reached a destination and more like, while you still have places to go, you’re not alone and need only invite guidance and assistance in manifesting the next stretch of trail.
Okay, I admit to being a “word nerd” and actually finding enjoyment in pondering and debating how words sound and, much more importantly, how they are heard and understood. I also acknowledge—with a smile—that this may be an effect of a lifetime of being told that I’m blunt and yet still managing to be misunderstood. Hm. Oh well…
The essential and central point of all the catch-phrases noted above is that this ride called Life doesn’t end until it comes to a complete stop with the body’s last breath, and NOW is the only moment we’ve truly got and is always the perfect place to begin. Don’t wait for more money, for the approval or good wishes of others, for ideal or stress-free circumstances; don’t even wait for inspiration. (Ding, Ding—another Magic Key there) To very loosely paraphrase Eckhart Tolle, The power is in the Now to create what you need.