I think that it’s a commonly held belief that we have to let go of the past. The past haunts people, some in dramatic, PTSD ways, and some in subtle nostalgic ways. Less is spoken about letting go of the future, which I was thinking about on my way home on the bus (don’t the greatest things pop into your mind when you don’t preoccupy your mind with music or other entertainments?).
Part of my personality is being a dreamer, it’s part of my innate nature to dream of a better future. They call people like me idealists, it isn’t something I actively choose to be, it’s what I’ve been born, shaped, and enjoy to be.
Letting go of the future is allowing for us to let go of the dot to dot worksheets in our minds, the systematic steps or orders that we think our life will take. We (hopefully) all have dreams and aspirations, light houses we are sailing towards. There is nothing wrong with this, and we should pursue and be working towards them whether in continual education, internships, career choices, etc. However, when we become too fixed on the future, we are like race horses with blinders, we neglect and devalue the enjoyment of the present moment.
So as I saw a couple on the subway, I felt jealous, for a lack of a better word. I felt inadequate, and perhaps something wrong with myself because I should be in a relationship with someone. I felt lonely, I didn’t have someone next to me to love, to wrap my arms around, to share my secrets. And I found myself hoping, wanting, and it just made me feel worse as always. This happened in a few milliseconds, all unconsciously.
When we let go of the future, we look for satisfaction in the present, I had a warm coat, backpack full of interesting books, shoes with no holes, etc. Also, we can look at the past as well, the friends that we have met, and had fun with. The warm homes, soft blankets, washing machines, hot showers, continual education that we have been blessed with.
When we let go of the future, we cease to look forward to the next thing; we are more content with the present. The present, in a sense of time is the future, for it is located within time. We can choose what to do, how to feel in the present, shaping our future.
Ultimately, we let go of the future, because we know it is not completely in our control. We can plan all we want, be detailed oriented, map out our entire lives, and it probably won’t lead to our ideals. And that’s completely okay, you should be satisfied with your self because at any moment that could be your last breath. No matter how modernity has lulled us into a false sense of controlling our destinies, with our cryogenics, surgeries, pills, and political/ social structures, or the antithesis; overtly deterministic, we can’t control when, where, or how we will die. Life doesn’t come to us in our terms, we live the best life with the hand we are given.
I’ve let go of my past, time to let go of my future.