There have been many times that I wished I could go back in my life and try parts of it again. That thought is locked into a parallel thought that all of us have had, “If I knew then what I know now.” It would all be done differently for all of us I’m confident. It would make it all so much easier would it not?
Or would it?
If we had known then what we know now, then we would have known all of the future in front of us as well. We would know that those thrilling moments we once knew would pass and not be nearly as important as they seemed at the time. We would know which of our triumphs were meaningful and which ones hardly mattered. We might know the joy we felt in a relationship was only temporary. That level of knowledge would quite literally suck the joy out of our existence.
Similarly we wish sometimes that we knew what was in front of us. I say we wish this on ourselves simply because we so often fear what we do not know about our future. Will I be able to keep my job? Will I be able to afford a better house? What type life will my children have? Where is this relationship going? All of these thoughts are fears. It is our ever present fear of not knowing what lies in front of us.
If we knew would it be better? What if we knew the tragedies awaiting our children? Would it improve our life? What if we knew the joys awaiting our children? Would it not merely dampen the joy at their happy moment just because we already knew this would happen? If we knew what lay in front of us then we could fold up tent and just die because life would hold no more anticipation or wonder.
You see it is our very ignorance that keeps us sane and living each day. I think it is the creator’s plan, and by figuring this out and accepting our ignorance, even welcoming it, we grant ourselves permission to revel in each day, living it to our fullest capability.
In our rush to know all things, even the future, we reject this remarkable truth, accepting our ignorance of the future as something to fear. This phenomenon I refer to as ‘fearing our own fear.’
To accept our ignorance of tomorrow is to embrace the art of living each day at its intended peak. We only need to accept peacefully that our ignorance protects us and keeps us sane.
Embrace the paradox and hold it tight.