United by insecurity

February 04 2014

No matter where your office is located, the ceiling can fall down. You don’t know when, but one day it will. There is even a possibility a car drives through your living room tonight while you’re sleeping.

We’ve done a great job fooling ourselves into believing we have it all figured out. We’ve worked hard to create predictable outcomes, studying to become masters of our environment. Data is plugged into spreadsheets, and dollars are spent on analyzing trends. Months are mapped out in advance. Calendars are scheduled to the minute. The year becomes a series of data points and action plans.

A soft mirage of familiarity has blanketed our world, producing a certain emotional numbness. We pick and choose what we want to feel. We pad ourselves from life with cars, TV shows, deadlines, large houses filled with things. The moment loneliness or vulnerability hits, we reach for our cell phones.

The irony is in all of this control and safety-making, we crave surprise and excitement. The tales of unpredictability are the ones we tell our friends. We sign up for marathons and Tough Mudders to feel something, to show the scrapes on our knees bearing witness of our participation. “Look at me, I’m living life!”

The moment you witness these tendencies is the moment you come alive. When you no longer cling to guarantees and you live in the challenge of each moment with nothing to hide.

This isn’t recklessness, it’s awareness. Some call it “mindful living,” the ability to observe what is happening as it happens. It’s not a need to know all of the answers but rather being in tune with the textures of your experience. It’s seeing the present for what it is, not what you wish for or as a result of what happened yesterday.

I often hear this question: “What’s next?”

I believe my flexibility in providing this answer has made my life what it is.

How wonderful it is to not know the answer.