We exist in a world of illusion, our sense of self, understanding of others, even our deepest thoughts aren’t real. The concept of reality is itself an illusion, it is merely a word we have built a conceptual framework around. As humans we tend to fluctuate our beliefs between two fractals of extremes, these being the best and worst case scenarios. This is where most of our disappointment and suffering lies. To be truly liberated we must begin embracing the unknown.
Let’s assume that we focus on the worst possible outcome of a situation. What do we gain? One might debate that we can prepare for the inevitable fallout. Better to have an umbrella and not need it than to need an umbrella and not have it. Is that statement really true though? If we expend our energy, our thoughts and minds preparing for a situation that never occurs are we really better off? If we train ourselves to always expect rain won’t we be disappointed when it doesn’t?
On the opposite end of the spectrum let’s assume we always anticipate the best possible scenario to occur. We can frivolously rush into situations unprepared and then we can be caught in a snowstorm in swim trunks. This leaves us open to being disappointed with what could have been an otherwise pleasant set of circumstances. We can miss the beauty of the present by reflecting on the past we imagined.
The least common approach to life in my experience and opinion is Embracing the Unknown. Embracing the Unknown is packing the umbrella, the swim trunks, and a snow suit. This is more work than outright belief in one possible outcome. We equally prepare for all possible outcomes, we expect the unexpected. This approach allows the experience to unfold as it is, rather than how we think it should or will be.
Embracing the unknown isn’t the solution in every instance obviously. Some things have proven time and time again to be true, If I touch fire, I will get burned, if I drink, I will get drunk ( which is something I choose to abstain from). Embracing the unknown isn’t the practice of blindly walking into any situation, it is the ability to pull ourselves out of our standard perception of reality, evaluate all conceivable options and walk into uncharted territory. It is the most difficult practice to begin to incorporate, I can assure you with some degree of certainty, it will have unpleasant moments, pleasant moments and more. Life will be different for you after you realize you can’t know most of the outcomes you are so certain of in the moment. Embracing the unknown is a trust fall with your higher power, one where if you have enough faith, open-mindedness and honesty you will see you are caught everytime.
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