Wednesday, January 4, 2012

No Guarantees

The beginning of a new year often puts me in a reflective frame of mind. I look back over the year just past and think about opportunities seized (and missed), new relationships started (and ended), and successes (and failures).

I also think about the upcoming year and its prospects. What do I hope to do (and refrain from doing)? What goals will I reach (or fall short of)? What changes will happen to me and what changes will I make (or fail to make)?

One certain truth when it comes to the future is this: there are no guarantees. Health, success, prosperity aren't guaranteed. Neither is life.

We live and act as if we know for certain that we will be alive to enjoy tomorrow, next month or next year. Yet, we don't know, and can't know, what the future holds.

Accepting that we are always moving into an uncertain future isn't easy. It means giving up the illusion that we can control what happens to us and to those we love.

Yet, once we accept this truth, we are free to live and love more fully. As long as we labor under the delusion that we can control the future, we will be continually frustrated and even unhappy. Accepting the uncertainty inherent in life is to recognize that life is a gift with no guarantees.

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