quarta-feira, 1 de julho de 2009

The Gifts of Uncertainty

When we embark on a journey, our mind naturally wants to know all the details ahead of time. Where, exactly, are we going and how long will it take? Will we be safe and comfortable and enjoy ourselves? When we begin a spiritual journey, the mind’s need for certainty is only intensified. It looks in vain for a clear itinerary, familiar landmarks, set timetables, and predictable destinations.
At a deeper level, the nature of life is uncertainty. It seems like the rules can be changed at any moment . . . that things we thought were certain in our youth now operate under totally different assumptions. Life’s uncertainty can feel unsettling and even, at times, threatening, but it’s also the source of our greatest joy. When we let go of the need to have an agenda for how things must turn out, we can experience the spontaneity and unanticipated pleasures of the present moment. Instead of trying to force situations or events, we are able to appreciate and feel grateful for what is around us right now.
Imagine taking a vacation in a foreign country but refusing to try a new restaurant or take a side excursion that wasn’t part of your planned itinerary. You would be giving up the possibility of fun, adventure, or even a transformational experience – in exchange for the illusion of security.
In reality, there are no safe paths. We can’t buy traveler’s insurance for our life’s journey, and we can’t be sure of our destination. In the words of the intrepid explorer Helen Keller, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
By opening ourselves to uncertainty, even if just a little bit at a time, we release our self-imposed limitations and allow our life and spiritual journey to unfold in ways more wondrous and fulfilling than we could have imagined.

(Deepak Chopra)

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