When we consider the possibilities of our own future do we find excitement, comfort or distress? Reaching back in to 2004, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten, from her debut album, provides an interesting reflection on the mystery of life and the future.
From the opening lyrics we are given the insight that whilst we may not know the future, we have do have some level of determination over it. This may give us mixed emotions; responsibility, anxiety, wonder, fear, excitement. What you experience will reflect whether you feel having a role to play in writing your own future is liberating or restricting; a joy or a burden.
Interestingly, the songs next observation us that it is often our fears and inhibition which prevent us from experiencing the liberating excitement of having the pen in our hand. The song provides two important clarifying notes: The first is that we need to open the dirty window to illuminate the words we cannot find; we need to make an active decision to get a wider perspective, perhaps even guidance from others. The second, not to be fearful of making mistakes. If we give up our fear of experiencing what we don’t known in life we can allow ourselves to make choices which might end in mistakes. This reminds me of a Buddhist saying:
If you can solve the problem,
Then what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it,
Then what is the use of worrying?
We don’t know all the consequences of our decisions, so we just need to do what we can. Worrying about potential events and consequences holds no wisdom either way.
Natasha Bedingfield’s conclusion is that we are to live life with arms wide open welcoming the experiences which come our way, even enjoying feeling the rain on our skin. When we adopt this approach, life is both something we have yet to write and something which will also be outside of our control. A realistic balance of us having the pen, but not knowing the weather conditions we might face. We can just write what we can, seeking illumination, but not worrying about the outcome.
Ultimately though, and in the words of the song; “No one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in.” We are the only ones who can make the choice to experience the excitement that comes from having a future yet unwritten.
Originally published at medium.com