Today we ask that you release your fears around the future.
Release your fears around the future.
What does this mean?
It means recognizing and accepting the truth that it is absolutely impossible for you predict the future with accuracy. All predictions are, at best, an educated guess. In reality, you cannot know your future.
Yet most people spend a great deal of time agonizing over the future, as if they know what’s going to happen.
If you look back on your life to date, you will find that generally things did not go exactly according to your plans. Unexpected events occurred. Many of your schemes and fantasies about your future never came to pass. Many of your fears about your future also never came to pass.
If you take an honest look at things, you will see that you probably wasted a great deal of time and energy locked up in mental projections of situations that never came to pass.
The things you hoped for and feared as a child, as a young adult. How many of things came to pass as you imagined them?
This is not to say that none of your wishes came true, or that none of your fears were realized. Of course some of what you imagine in the future does come to pass, although often not exactly in the way you expected.
The point of this exercise is to be realistic about how often this actually occurs. What percentage of the time does the future unfold as you imagine it? Looking at yourself in the past, how accurate was your imagination, when you envisioned your future — for good and ill?
So just sit with that.
Because however accurate or inaccurate you were in the past regarding your predictions of the future, you are equally inaccurate now.
Some things can be predicted. It is safe to say that winter will be followed by spring. It is safe to say that if you live long enough, your physical body will age and pass away. Certain things are fairly predictable — although nothing in this reality is ever absolute (just ask the dinosaurs).
Obviously in life it is necessary to make plans for future events. If you intend to travel somewhere, you must make arrangements. And that requires a certain amount of thinking about the future.
A certain amount of planning for the future is useful and necessary.
In general, however, humans spend far more time thinking about the future than is useful. And all this time spent in worried projections is not useful. Just the opposite: it is destructive.
Worrying about the future, especially about events that are completely beyond your control, is not useful. This negative use of the imagination poisons the present moment. It drains you of vital energy needed to attend to what is right in front of you today. It causes depression, anxiety, impairs decision making, causes impulsive behavior, and places intolerable stress on the body, triggering disease.
Worrying about the future is, quite simply, bad for your health. It is also bad for the people around you, the loved ones that you worry about.
That is why it is helpful to reflect back in your life, and consider the accuracy of your future predictions.
How often did you guess correctly? Five percent of the time? Ten percent? Perhaps you have led an unusually predictable life, and you were right twenty-five percent of the time. A number this high would be quite rare.
Whatever the realistic number is for you, sit with this. It is safe to say that this number applies to all of your future predictions, right now. Right now, you are five percent or ten percent correct about what will happen. The rest, you have wrong.
The truth is, you don’t know what is going to happen. Even if you are correct about some of the big things, you have no idea how those things will unfold, what twists and turns your life will take.
Therefore the path of wisdom is to let go of trying to predict the future, let alone control it. There will be ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pleasures and challenges. The things you worry and fret over today will seem trivial tomorrow.
At the moment of your death, you will not wish that you had worried more. You will wish that you had lived more, been present more, enjoyed life as it as unfolding.
So do this now. Get out of your head, and the dark cloud of fear of the future. Those things are not happening now. Most of those things will never happen, not the way you think. Come fully into this moment. Deal with things as they arise. There is plenty for you to do in any day without worrying and brooding. Just do that, and all the rest will fall into place.