I believe there is not a human walking this earth who has not at some point in their lives been curious to see into the future. Some might have even considered what in my humble opinion I would call dubious means; seeing a fortune teller, reading daily horoscopes or other means proffered from alternative sources, to seek an answer to the question – “what does my future look like?”
If someone would have told me three years ago what would happen to me over the next three years and the position I would be in now, I would not have believed them. However credible or qualified they were or how convincingly they spoke, the reality of my Now would have been inconceivable and unimaginable three years ago. A mental crash (as I prefer to call it), provoking physical illness needing major surgery, followed by a long recovery irrevocably changed my perspective on life.
So what is this fascination about seeing into the future and why does the future impact so strongly on the Now? This has quite literally kept me up at night and up until only very recently, made me realise how much I have lived every aspect of my Now in the context of my future. So what happens when the future becomes less clear? Even if we have a clear vision, ideal or goal, how sure can we be that intention and desire will be rewarded with certainty?
The future spreads its powerful rays silently, like the climate we live in, often unacknowledged but pervading and colouring our Now, impacting on our behaviour, attitude, health and wellbeing. However secure, under control or certain the future might be perceived; or conversely, that the future looks confused like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle without a picture, the only thing which can be said with certainty is that the future IS illusive and totally unpredictable.
The challenge is therefore about recalibrating an attitude with deliberate effort, to develop the ability to live and work in the Now, not relying on natural intuition to make this adjustment. Irrespective of a climate of unpredictability it is about learning to relinquish our need for control of the future. The Future might threaten our stability, but to acknowledge its influence pervading our Now is a starting point from which to take back positive control of our Now.
In the end it is about finding a balance in which our hopes for the future do not obliterate our ability to live in the Now. Trusting in the investment of our commitment, effort and striving in the Now to propagate, the realisations of our goals, desires, hopes and even dreams through adopting a flexible and healthy attitude in our relationship to the future. But also being self-aware and allow time for self-reflective contemplation which will in turn reveal the achievements realised in the Now to shine through.
I am learning to realise it is my investment and commitment in the Now which will ultimately lead me to a future, unhindered by my imposing control restricting new possibilities.
We might not have the imagination or indeed best understanding or knowledge in the Now to create a clear picture of the future, therefore rather to trust the Now from which our future might just be an unimaginable surprise.
The future is only a tiny step in front of the Now, so easily we can overlook the tiny sparks in human sensitivity and responsiveness, the pearls of beauty in our world which exist in the Now can go undetected; a tragic loss of a rich resource to enhance our self-worth and enrich our sense of fulfilment in all we strive to do in the Now and the future.
In celebrating Jewish New Year, I wish you all a healthy and sweet New Year or simply the opportunity for new beginnings each day. L’Shanah Tovah!