11/25/2014 11:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I Did It Their Way!

2014-11-24-sFAMILYGATHERINGSsmall1.jpgMove? Change jobs? Retirement? No, not yet! How often do you push to have your way with things? How many times have you gotten your way, only to realize later that someone else's ideas or plans were for the greater part of the whole? When is the right time to go after your dreams? What are you willing to let go of to have your dreams come true today?

In a roundabout way, and for almost a lifetime of allowing someone else to decide what's best for the family, I'm so glad I did it their way! Because all I really ever wanted was to have a family and a job that didn't interfere.

I woke up this morning and lay in bed full of joy, reflecting on the pleasant weekend before. I'd just celebrated my 66th birthday with my children and grandchildren at dinner in a restaurant close to home. In hindsight, if I had had it my way, I would've been living 2.5 hours away from my grown children, living in New Jersey, and may have missed out on this family celebration. It wasn't just my birthday that brought our family together; my son was home from college, just an hour's drive from home, much better than a 3.5-hour trip to our vacation house in New Jersey. The following evening, I went to my 15-year-old granddaughter's choral performance at her school, and it filled me with joy to hear her beautiful voice. That Monday, my granddaughter was home from school with a virus, and I was close enough to pick up some comfort food and pay her a visit while my daughter was at work. And I also had time for my best friend, who recently downsized and moved even closer to her expanded family. We shared uplifting conversations and looked at beautiful designs for her new house. All of these wonderful experiences happened without plans and were the result of giving others their way.

Twenty-five years ago, my husband and I bought a vacation house at the New Jersey shore. I fell in love with it and wanted to sell our home in Pennsylvania, find a new job and move there immediately. But my husband said that it wasn't the right time. He said we could move there when we retire. And five years later, we had another child. Once again, I wanted to move to the vacation home and raise our baby son there. I thought it would be an exciting and different lifestyle for the three of us, since my grown daughter was now married and settled, and we'd already raised a child in the city. I kept saying, "Let's do it!" but my husband and daughter thought it best to in suburban Pennsylvania for the great school system and opportunities for children there. So we stayed. My life has been a continuous stream of simple gifts of giving in that have brought me greater pleasures than I could have ever imagined, along with a great family life that worked for everyone. Through all of this and more, I am happy and grateful that I did it their way.

I've come to learn even more these days that our greatest successes, achievements, and desires flow smoothly when we put the comfort and happiness of those around us ahead of our own wants and desires. It means trusting their plans and ideas before our own, and it means having faith that others just might have a better way of looking at things that we don't see. Going with the flow and not getting your way may actually bring you more joy in the long run. That's how it's worked for me.

I'm not talking about pushing down your own needs or sacrificing. But being nonresistant, trusting and believing someone else, bears incredible results and the fewest regrets. For right now, I get to relax and have fun at my vacation house on the weekends, which is a luxury most people don't have the luxury of doing. And perhaps one day, retiring at the vacation house will come true, where my family will visit and enjoy the place with us.

But giving in to others and deferring some of the things we want brings Grace and something to look forward to, and this keeps us humble and young at heart. Think about it. What are some of the things you've giving up for others that have worked wonders for you? I bet you too can count them as blessings in disguise. I know can.

I just started to write about my spiritual life and life experiences six years ago, but things which would have turned out quite differently if I'd insisted upon moving to the vacation house 25 years before. I would have had a completely different job and doubt whether I would have written a book, something that's led me to being a contributor to Huffington Post to share the wonders!

In short, doing it their way has actually given me a sense of having it all right now, and has been my saving Grace.

About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's works graced locations from churches to public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures and inspirational books, including A Course in Miracles and the works of Marianne Williamson among many others. The mother of two children and a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom.