Viewing entries tagged
loneliness

Feeling Uncertain About Your Future?

I know how it is to feel like you’re immersed in nothing but question marks. Whether it happened suddenly or by stealth, your life seems to have taken a turn down a road that’s dark and thick with trees so you can’t get a glimpse of what lies ahead.

It can leave you feeling uncertain about everything and fearful about not knowing what lies ahead.

But the truth is, we never know what lies ahead, not beyond the very moment in which we are standing. We make plans and we think that they’ll turn out as we expect. Even though we know sometimes it doesn’t happen like that, usually we keep moving forward on the assumption that things will go according to plan.

And we’re shocked when they don’t. Or we’re hurt or feel like we’ve failed. Or we’re afraid because we feel like we don’t have any control over our lives.

In reality, control is an illusion. It’s really just about having a plan and believing it’s going to go as you want. But other things come into play and things happen that you hadn’t anticipated, or perhaps you had but you thought you might be able to stop them.

You have this moment, and only this moment. The only truth that exists is the one that you experience right now. 

Everything can change in the next five minutes or the next breath. Things come out of the blue; life happens and the only thing we know for sure is that change is a given.

When you feel like you can’t stand the not knowing, just remember that you never really ‘know’ anyway. You’ve only got a plan, but there’s never any guarantee that it will turn out as you want it to do. 

When you accept this and just be open to going with the flow and seeing how it will all turn out, you’ve done yourself the biggest favour in the world. Now you don’t have disappointment, because you’ve given up expectation. Now you don’t have fear of the unknown because you’re happy to see whatever comes and view it as an adventure.

 

When you feel lost, it’s all about your perspective. You don’t really know any more or less for having a plan or not - because life will continue to unfold as it’s going to do. Be at peace with this moment and the rest will take care of themselves. 

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The Journey

The hitchhiker stands at the side of the road, a duffel bag at his feet, backpack slung over his shoulder, an arm extended.  At the end of it, his request for a lift appears in the form of his thumb pointing in the direction of his destination.  He waits, hopeful. He puts on his most winning smile with the approach of every car, every van, every lorry.  The smile slides from his face, dissolving into his slumped shoulders as he sighs and waits for the next one, slightly less hopeful with each vehicle that passes without stopping.

After a while, he picks up his duffel bag, resigned to the fact that he’s not getting anywhere and it’s time to move on.  He knows he’ll get tired from walking and carrying his belongings, but he’s pretty tired of standing there, too, wasting time, his destination seeming further away than ever.

‘Right,’ he thinks. ’Let’s move on.’ Determined to reach his destination, he sets off, humming and whistling now and then, as it’s a pretty decent day and all things considered, life is pretty good.

He hears the approach of a vehicle, turns toward it, brings out the winning smile and the accompanying thumb, but again he must keep walking. ’No matter,’ he thinks. ’I'll get there.  Someone will stop.’

A while later, a truck comes up from behind and slows, eyeing the hopeful hitchhiker suspiciously, and making our traveller peer back equally so. Sizing each other up, and making their decisions, the driver picks up speed without stopping and the hitchhiker is relieved. He trudges along, hoping for better luck next time.

Clouds move in. The wind picks up. The rains come. Our hitchhiker is not deterred. His situation is unpleasant but what’s a little water? Or even a lot? Dejection and discouragement swirl round him, dancing and teasing like naughty little boys who rush forward to poke him, then dart away and laugh. Ignoring them with visions of reaching his destination, he continues to put one soggy foot in front of the other and keeps going.

Cars come. Cars go. The rain falls harder. The temperature drops, and so do the hitchhiker’s spirits. Hesitation wraps itself around his weary legs, weighing them down like sandbags of doubt. Thoughts of turning back roll through his mind, each one heavier than the last. It would have been so much easier to not have set out on this journey, to have stayed where he was comfortable.

Comfortable, yes. But not particularly happy.

But would he be any happier when he reached his destination? Of this, he could not be certain. He knew only that he had to discover the answer, whatever it might be. Going back was not an option; there was nothing for him there. Nothing but familiarity and a gnawing, aching emptiness that could no longer be filled by complacency.

A lorry stops. The driver leans across from his seat and opens the passenger door.

“Get in!” he calls to the shivering man. ”You must be freezing!”

“You’re right, mate, I am! Thanks!” comes the grateful reply as the traveller climbs inside.

The two drive on together, stopping for a greasy burger and chips, some strong, hot coffee around mid-day, before going their separate ways as the lorry driver can take the hitchhiker no further.

With hopes renewed and his belly full, our traveller stands once again at the side of the road, as his thumb and his most winning smile make the silent request for another lift toward his destination…