I catapult myself into the future. I calculate the certainty for which an event, emotion, reaction, or behavior is likely to occur. I dance around the idea that by somehow fixating my attention and living in this future time that I have some level of control over its outcome.
I think most of us are subject to this automated behavior. The mind runs wild; traversing distance, space, and time. We travel to our past to recount events or hurtle ourselves into the future to build an expectation. We are all time travelers.
Time travel, a human condition
For me, time traveling to the future is the most dangerous and generally does me more harm that good. Perhaps the intention behind the travel isn't negative, but when the outcome doesn't meet my planned expectation it's a slap in the face.
Of course some time travel to the future is required. Otherwise, how would I get anything done? How would I plan my workday to do list? How would I get my bills paid on time without some forethought?
The treacherous issue for me is traveling to the future to try and predict it or wrestle with the uncertainty of it.
Nothing is guaranteed. Plans will go awry. Surprises are unleashed.
Today, I woke up and I said thank you to myself and my life, as I have each day this year within a few moments of waking, as I promised myself I would. Despite this expression of gratitude I traveled to the future to wrestle with the uncertainty of it. I tried to make a prediction about it. I tried to manipulate it, and it hasn't even arrived. It doesn't even exist.
Upon realizing this, I stopped myself, and asked, "how can I prevent myself from doing this? from time traveling into the future without necessity?"
"Embrace the uncertainty," was the idea that popped into my mind.
Squash the fear
Embracing the uncertainty of life squashes fear. Embracing the uncertainty is a Small Act that improves the quality of my day and my life; a weight lifted.
At that point, I could hear my next door neighbor begin to yell very dramatically. (These aren't luxury apartments here, just your standard cardboard cutout college-town apartments.) She yells like this often. She always claims someone is beating on the wall, but I never hear it. Maybe it's in her head. It was an unexpected event for this time of day, but it prompted me to get out of bed. I watched the sun rise, did some yoga, and felt a sense of freedom in focusing my energy on living in the present moment rather than propelling myself to a time of non-existence.
The certainty of uncertainty paradox
It's okay to be uncertain. It's really one of the only things we can truly count on, paradoxically, because everything is changing all the time. Today I was reminded to acknowledge the uncertainty, embrace it, and then let it go. Practicing this Small Act allows me to travel with time; with each moment.
If you think about it, it's always "right now" anyway. Are you living in the "right now?" If not, are you really living at all?