Not Knowing

One of the things we find easy about the past is that—for ourselves, at least—it’s pretty much known. The future isn’t set, not in any serious way. There are probabilities and likelihoods the closer we are to it, but remarkably soon any certainty fades away. This is scary.

The past, on the other hand, can be traumatic, or sad, or disturbing, but it isn’t surprising. There’s a comfort in that, and it makes some of us want to keep indulging in it, reveling—or wallowing—in memory, and it keeps us from moving forward.

But the future is nothing if not endless possibility. These are times of great chaos, anxiety, and, yep, uncertainty. When we shrink from the work, overindulge in nostalgia for the past, or reject what-is-yet-to-be-determined, we toss aside the possibilities that hope and our practice are creating in front of us. It probably seems wishy-washy. It might even seem mystical. But there is freedom in abandon and that’s quite real. There are always new chances in the future we can’t know, so long as we’re alive.