Do We Control Our Fate, Or Does Fate Control Us?

By Rebecca Brody on Feb 22nd 2011 3:00PM

Though Valentine’s Day has already passed, I’m still in the mood to see movies celebrating love. Having stumbled into The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Mackie, I got more than I bargained for.

Most Valentine’s Days I find myself cringing at the selection of love movies that, like bubble gum, start sweet and soft, then morph into a stale, hard rock, leaving a bad taste in my mouth. This year, however, Cupid has brought us a smart, savvy love thriller sprinkled with philosophical musings and a universal existential question: Do we control our fate, or does fate control us?

What would you do if, by chance, you met the “one”, but suddenly a force of nature was trying to keep you apart? Would you give up and say, “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be,” or would you take it as a test pushing you to fight for what you want?

With the high divorce rate, it seems many people choose to walk away. As I watched David Norris (Damon) struggle with the forces of fate in his quest to be reunited with his love Elise (Blunt), I had to ask, “What would you do to be with the one you love? How far would you be willing to go? What would you sacrifice? Would you fight your faith?

Too many people allow their love to be shaped by circumstance, blaming their lack of resources — “I don’t have money, so no one will want to date me” — or deficient upbringing — “my parents are divorced, so I don’t know how to be in a loving relationship” — for their lot in love. Many have become bitter about love; they want it, but their past experiences have been so disheartening or hurtful that they lose faith.

Even when the deck has been stacked against you, your fate is in your hands. These are the moments when you must forge your own path, and learn how to love and be loved. Facing your fears of trusting another person with your heart, and respecting and honoring when they give you theirs, is part of the journey of growth as human beings.

When it feels like every obstacle has been put in your way, who amongst you has the will and resolve to fight? It’s not enough to accept the hand you were dealt; if you want anything in this life, you have to work for it.

If you really want to experience love, you have to fight the forces that hold you back, whether they are friends who give bad advice, a sister or mom who doesn’t believe you should be marrying your man (Cynthia’s sister on ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta‘– I”m calling you out, girl!), or the negative voices in your head that tell you “I can’t! I’m not worthy! Why would anyone want me?”.

How many times have you been plagued by doubt and uncertainty in your relationship and asked everyone else if it is worth it? We spend too much time looking outside of ourselves for answers, when the answers are within us. Stay focused on what you really want and listen to your heart. If you want love you will have to trust yourself and your partner, and have faith that against all odds you can make your love work.

As for The Adjustment Bureau, it’s refreshing to see a movie that sparks my will to fight for not only what I believe in, but for love.

Follow Rebecca Brody on twitter @LuvCoach

Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She hosts, and works with private clients. Send your questions to or visit her at

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