What is it that has us needing to ‘know’ what is going to happen before it even happens? We used to love the experience of not knowing as children – we loved being surprised! Each breath was filled with magic and wonder as we interacted with the world around us. Each moment was new, and all possibilities were open to happening in our lives.
These days, as an adult, I see so many people struggle with themselves at work or school, feeling less than, unimportant, or cast aside when they don’t ‘know’ what is going to happen. They fear that not knowing could keep them from having a choice in the future. Needing to know before it happens can limit our experience as we bring all of our unmet expectations to the unknown situation. Most of us want to know about how and when things are going to happen – those things we want and those we don’t want. Knowing in advance is a common strategy of the ego trying to keep us safe and protect us from harm. The strategy goes like this – if we can build a story now about what is going to happen later, then we can use that story to stay safe and have choices when the situation happens. It gives our ego the illusion that we have a choice by knowing in advance so we can decide what is the best upfront, instead of responding with our preference during the actual experience.
While planning is helpful, we often miss the richness of a new experience by leading with our expectations. For instance, if we go into a public space anticipating people to respond in a judgmental way, we may go into that experience feeling guarded and reticent to engage with others. As a result, we may come off as aloof or snotty because we have an assumption that we need to be cautious and limit our connection with others to protect ourselves. In another example, If I take a self-care trip to recharge and reset with my natural rhythm but plan every moment of the getaway, it defeats the purpose. Without allowing time for ‘not knowing’ or ‘just being’ I never come back to my natural rhythm.
What if we could go into each new experience innocent, knowing we can choose what is best for us based on what we know in each moment?
If we let go of needing to know the future and allow ourselves to ‘go with the flow’, the possibilities are endless! Trusting that we can honor what is right for us moment-to-moment, opens our lives to a newfound sense of adventure and excitement unbound by the limits of expectations. What is happening right now is perfect and if the next moment doesn’t feel the same, I trust myself to honor and do what is most loving to me when that moment comes.
Can you shift from needing to know to being in the flow today?