Blinded by the Past & Fearful for the Future

In themselves, things are only things. Rather than being good or bad, they just exist. The judgment comes from ourselves, we determine the worth of our experiences, our lives. This may seem blatantly obvious to some, but it is a powerful insight once taken to heart. Have you missed the bus? Have you come down with a fever? Of course, it is preferable should these things not occur, but when they do in fact occur, we can influence our judgment of the fact. For instance, I have missed the bus, that’s a good opportunity to read a great book while waiting for the next one, or perhaps strike up a conversation with someone waiting at the bus stop. See what is rather than worry about what could have been, realize that what has happened is neither good nor bad, but we make it so.

Yesterday I heard someone expressing a very human, but also a very disastrous thought. It was in the context of another person telling of their adventures in India and Nepal, saying how they reinvented themselves. So, what she said was something along these lines “You are doing all these things, and yet I am doing nothing with my life, no traveling and no job yet, at 24 years old”. And why is this thought disastrous? Well, she doesn’t seem to realize that it is she who decides what is important for her, not society. If I decide to sit in a cave, or by a lake, just sitting and taking in nature for the next 10 years, if this is something I enjoy, if this has meaning to me, that’s what counts. There are no specifics for what we have to do in order for our lives to be meaningful, it is we ourselves who decide.

Besides, consider that last part, “at 24 years old”. I am often reminded of the striking prevalence of people’s worries on matters of age and aging. This saddens me greatly because what it seems to infer is that each year that passes makes them worse, that they are trying to fight against time. But, now is now and will always be now. Well yes, we may get weaker physically and have certain circumstances that complicate life, but all we have is what we have now, so there’s no use in thinking of “if now were ten years ago, I could’ve done x and y and z”, it doesn’t really do anything rather than bring us into an unhealthy reverence for the past and fear of the future.

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