January 17, 2011
"Seize the Day, putting as little trust as possible in the future"
Quintus Horatius Flaccus
I recall that when I was a little girl, having very little perception of time, it felt endless and vast. Future was far removed from my consciousness while I dreamed of adventures ahead of me, all that would come to pass once I became an adult. Old age and death was a time span so alien to my thinking, it never preoccupied my mind.
As a teenager, my favorite sentence with which I would strike a conversation used to be "When I grow up, I will..." . I was already a dreamer at a very young age and my dreams only grew and developed, never to cease. When I still carried on this way close to being twenty, my mother used to gently make me aware of how ridiculous I started to sound as I was already an adult and indeed all grown up.
Nevertheless, despite my vivid imagination and the dreams and the adventures which I envisioned as a young girl, I realized at an early age that indeed the future very rarely turns out the way we wish. Thus I learned to distinguish between the idea of having dreams and making plans.
The beautiful aphorism at the beginning of this post has always made sense to me and to the sentiments with which I view my reality. Despite the fact that I enjoy taking sentimental walks in my past, recollecting unforgettable moments in time, I never dwell on years gone by, nor do I live with one single regret. I lack capability to do so, perhaps because I live in the present. I make decision today, basing them on the knowledge I carry with me presently, deciding with my heart, my intuition and my conscience. This comes naturally to me - every hour in every day has an incredible potential and I view it as priceless and unique.
As much as I relish in dreaming of the future, I also realize it doesn't belong to me. Not yet at least. And therein lies the infinite magic of life. Despite the fact that the future can feel uncertain and can fill us with feelings of anxiety and apprehension, those same reasons make it wonderfully exciting. Not knowing what might come to pass is endlessly exhilarating.
To worry about what life might throw our way will only make us live in fear and prevent us from taking decisions, from making necessary changes and from taking chances.
I recall once stumbling upon a great set of sentences to the likes that if we expect troubles, we will experience them twice. Furthermore it is futile to prepare oneself for less than pleasant circumstances for two reasons: one; what we worry about might not come to pass, two; usually the troubles we worry about the least are the ones that will occur.
And that is often more than enough.
"One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying."
Morris L. West