If you feel the need to erase your past with physical destruction, you have yet to learn the true power of detachment: you're already free.
When I was younger, I thought that my future held my circle of friends; we seemed inseparable. When I owned a house, I put my heart and soul into its maintenance, sweating and struggling to hold onto it because I was so sure that it was in my future.
I thought the same thing about my job, that my future held a high-paying career as a computer programmer, or a security consultant. At one point I was certain that my future held a position in the military. I was sure it held my ex-girlfriend.
But I was wrong, about all of it.
I learned that by telling ourselves day in and day out that we know what the future holds, that it must hold this thing or that person just because we always thought that it would, we lock ourselves into self-limiting and self-destructive patterns.
We hold onto these expectations because it’s safer that way, because our primal instinct wants to feel secure, because it wants to know that we’ve been somewhere and that we’ve done something and that all of this must mean we’re going somewhere, with someone, or with a specific group of someones.
We want to see ourselves making tangible progress, moving laterally from one direction to another, swimming toward a specific destination and making specific, measurable progress. We don’t want to think three-dimensionally, to look down into a dark abyss and imagine sinking to a undefinable place that holds so much unknown, to a place that has no certain depth and no measurable end, a place where anything can happen.
We don’t want to imagine that, but that’s exactly what the future holds, a dark unknown. We have no light to shine on the future. We have no map to lead us through. There is no rulebook that determines what happens and what doesn’t, who lives and who dies, who comes, and who goes. Life isn’t a two-dimensional surface with birth and death clearly marked on either end. It’s dynamic. It’s unpredictable. It’s raw.
You are not who you were yesterday and tomorrow, you won’t be who you are right now. But who you are right now is real. It’s tangible, and the only thing holding you back from blossoming is what you take with you into tomorrow, and what you expect to find when you get there. Your vision of the future is flawed. It’s a mirage. It’s an island that you’re swimming toward that doesn’t even exist.
Every heartbeat is a heartbeat you’ve never experienced. Every breath is a breath you’ve never taken.
Envision a future that is so unwritten, a future that is so strange that you have trouble holding it in your imagination. Envision a future so blank, so pure and unencumbered by the past or the present, so savage and wild and deep that it remains unrestrained by preconceptions of yesterday and unchained from expectations of today.
Envision a future that is so impossibly unimaginable that it creates an abyss of nothingness, and then, allow yourself to float into that unknown, leaving behind everything to embrace a future you that is flawless and free.
On the way to the remote farmhouse where I'm staying in Ujire, India, there is a small stream that crosses the road. It's a beautiful and calm place, surrounded by dense forest with just enough opening in the canopy to let a few rays of light through.
Big and beautiful butterflies are abundant, floating high above on black and yellow wings. An endless array of birds, their exact whereabouts hidden by the thick greenery, call out and sing in an acoustic dance.
A short distance upstream, there is a pool of water that collects underneath a stone ledge, measuring about twenty feet wide by four feet tall. Feeding the pool, a small waterfall runs in, adding to the surreal beauty of the place. Continue reading
I spent Saturday and Sunday working at my parents house, doing yard work and helping my dad tile the front porch. The weather was beautiful and it was so nice spending time outside for a change. I've always loved the outdoors however my current occupation does not allow for much outdoor activity. As a "computer guy", all of my work is done inside. Electronics and nature simply don't mix. Sure, I can use my laptop outside (which is where I'm writing this post right now) but the reality of it is, I cannot run my whole career sitting outside on my laptop. But, some people do.
I've heard stories of computer programmers who make a living accepting contract work over the Internet. They'll sit on a beach somewhere, with their laptop, programming and sipping fruity drinks. Then there are those who make a living running an online business that doesn't require anything except their laptop and a few hours of their time.
But maybe it has nothing to do with using my computer outside. Maybe I'm just sick of using computers themselves. Maybe I've been using them my entire life and have just come to accept that since it's what I know best, its what I'm meant to do. If that were so, why do I feel so undecided? Why am I not sure of what I want to do? That is so unlike me.
I'm a person of assurance. I don't do things because I think it's what I'm supposed to do, I do them because I know they're what I'm supposed to do. I understand that no one person can be sure of everything and that life is full of surprises and unexpected events. We must go with the flow. Never the less, when I feel myself losing control over something, I tend to hesitate and question myself -- question whether I'm doing the right thing. This is not a position I enjoy being in and it makes concentrating on anything difficult.
So every time I gain a new insight, I reanalyze my life. I do a systems check to make sure everything I'm doing still makes sense. I check to make sure what I'm doing is still in line with my goals. But how can I do this if I'm expecting and depending on the results of this and that? I have always followed the motto "if you want something done right, do it yourself" and I live my life that way. Life will always contain the unexpected. In life, as in programming, more variables equal an increased possibility for the loss of control.
My solution to this is to live life expecting nothing. Without expectation there will be no disappointment. Attachment creates waste and drains life. Ownership creates unnecessary work. Expect less. Own less. Attach to less. My Dad has always said "Less is more". I've never understood this more fully than I do now.