I don’t know about you, but I spent the entire Labor Day weekend watching updates on Hurricane Dorian.
I was told a storm would be coming. So I, like so many others, put all my energy into anticipating when and how and where this storm would come into my little corner of the world. Alternating between scrolling through Facebook and watching the news on TV. When, when, when will it hit us? How many hours till we were in the eye? Will the winds be over 100 mph? I wasted the whole three days worrying, stressing and anticipating bad news. I had a whole three days off from work to do whatever I wanted to do. Catch up on my reading, paint, write, record sound meditations. I had a plan and I was excited to have three days off in a row. But what happened? I was told about the future.
Now don’t get me wrong, planning for an emergency such as this is imperative and necessary. Absolutely take precautions and think through your plan step by step to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of your family! Check periodically for updates and act accordingly.
What I’m talking about is the lesson I’ve learned from Hurricane Dorian: You’re not supposed to know the future because then all you do is sit around waiting for it to happen. What I’m talking about is the obsessive nature of wanting to control the outcome of the future and wasting your days in anticipation of a future event. What I’m talking about is how we forego living our lives to replay in our minds events that haven’t even happened yet. What I’m talking about is spending three days lost in thought, on a train to Crazytown. As I always say, I used to live in Crazytown, but I moved out years ago. I occasionally visit and this weekend I definite took a trip there. Thankfully, I know my way out of Crazytown. It’s through meditation.
I am extremely thankful for my meditation practice. It has taught me that letting go and surrendering to the moment, without judgment, can truly be liberating. When we try and manipulate, to control outcomes, to control the future, we create anxiety within ourselves. We expect certain outcomes and we expect people to behave the way we want them to and when our expectations are not met, boy are we angry! We expect the world outside to make us happy. I have news for you. If you expect the world to make you happy, you will undoubtedly be disappointed time and time again.
The metaphysical text “A Course in Miracles” teaches “Seek not to change the world, but will to change your mind about the world.” When we can shift our thinking to look within for answers, we begin to realize we are in charge of our own happiness. We don’t have to rely on a future event to bring us joy. And when we can start living in the now, in a moment by moment awareness, we are able to navigate the storms of our lives with ease, because we are coming from a place of deep calmness. We no longer “future trip” and become compulsive over “what if this, what if that happens.” We learn to accept and trust that everything is happening just as it should and we are more than capable of dealing with obstacles when we are faced with them.
And guess what? When the time comes, we will know what to do.