Letting Go of Future Expectations

As a younger, single man, I would obsess over the idea of finding someone to spend my life with. Most of my relationships were short lived. I worried so much about how they would end up, that I couldn’t take the time to enjoy the person I was with.

After several failed relationships, I finally came to accept the idea that I may live out my life as a single man and still have an enjoyable life. I stopped worrying about finding someone and started enjoying the moments of my life and the people in my life.

I learned again and again that life rarely unfolds according to our plans and expectations. Things happen along the way that we could not possibly anticipate. After much effort, stress and resistance, we often find ourselves happier and healthier in the end than if things had gone according to our own plans.

It’s true that sometimes the smallest action can change the course of life or even a whole society. But, it’s rarely planned that way.

On April 10th of 1998, for instance, I had no idea that, while I was dancing around, lost in music, when I decided to play a game of cards just to enjoy the freedom of life without expectations, that card game would change the course of my life in ways I never thought possible.

One of my fellow card players was April: then a stranger, now my beautiful and extraordinary wife and the mother of our incredible son. Though I was intrigued by the stars in her dusky eyes, excited by the skip in her step and refreshed by the dynamism in her voice. I never considered that I would even see her again or that I would want to or would have the chance to intimately share my life with her.

No matter how much we think we know what our plans should be in life, it’s the unexpected moments of freedom from plans and expectations that make the biggest difference. As many of the plans I make fail and others excel beyond my wildest dreams, I keep finding myself living an awesome life, in spite of my attempts to fight it.

It is impossible to be fully prepared for the future. It is scary to let go and to allow things to happen beyond our control. But, our perception of the future is only in our imagination. It does not really exist. It is always this moment. This moment is eternal. It is the only time in which we have any influence, power or richness in life.

It is when we are in the present that we live fully.