Everybody’s got tragedies. Everyone has greatness – some big and some small. Not all of us survive our tragedies as we can live our lives as victims. Not everyone reaches their greatness because we can get stuck in our stories. The way around this is to embrace your destiny.

What’s your destiny? It’s whatever is happening to you.

What?! Isn’t your destiny supposed to be something worthwhile and grand? What if what’s happening right now is mediocrity, being a war refugee, or failed writer? Is that your destiny? Yes, your destiny is whatever is happening to you right now. The only way forward is to accept that.

So let’s say that you never knew your mother. Your father is a raging alcoholic, and because of his absentee parenting, you did a lot of ineffective things in life. How does that destiny make a foundation for something great? It could provide you with opportunities to learn compassion.

It may have taught you patience. Your mistakes may have led you to learn forgiveness and perseverance. All of those things are a great foundation for many things: parenthood, customer service, leadership, and entrepreneurship to name a few.

Acceptance is saying, “I chose this” or “This is my path.” It’s not about making you responsible for being poor, raped, forgotten, handicapped, or something else that happened to you. It’s about empowering you to accept your place in the family, community, and universe. Some of us are protectors. Some are healers, teachers, heroes, rebels, explorers, caretakers, or jokers. The world needs all sorts.

Once you accept your destiny, it becomes easier to live the rest of your life. If the things you have lived up to now are painful, cleanse the hurt. Put down the burden. Forgive yourself and others. Put it all in perspective so that it is meaningful, not a curse.

If you are battling your story, you can’t be one with it. Accept that it is what it is. Claim it. Make it your own. When you talk about it, wear it as a badge of honor, don’t shrink from it. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a destiny. When you embrace your destiny, it becomes a powerful force from which your light can shine and you can serve others.