Trying to control the flow of life is a source of suffering. The natural up and downs in life are the very essence of life. And trying to control the outcome of one’s life is a practice only ever met with failure.
We try to control life because we are afraid. We are afraid that if we do not clench and force life with sheer will, it will spin wildly out of our control and crash back into us. The world shows us, time and time again, how foolish it is to try and control our futures. Yet, here we stay, trying to bend the will of the universe so we can feel unafraid.
Why do we believe that the future only holds torment unless we shape it? Why do we believe that it cannot flourish without our interference?
Trees and flowers grow up without our control, the sun shines, the moon waxes and wanes, pandemics come and go, the stock market falls and then rises, seasons come and go. We are constantly experiencing the ever-consistent change of the world. We vainly struggle to control the world, yet the world grows perfectly on its own. It does not need our control. Our interference does nothing but hinder it. It is when we leave the natural world alone, that a beauty is born. So, can we not leave our own world alone, to see how it will flourish on its own?
What would happen if we relinquished our belief that we can change the future? What if instead, we started practicing the art of effortless action. Let us drop into the present moment and react to the world in response to the moment.
We would find that we are perfect, just as we are. That there is nothing to fix, nothing to solve, that all is unfolding as it will. The most precious art we can learn is the art of non-doing. Align yourself with the flow of life and realize that where you are in this moment is exactly where you need to be. Don’t try to change the flow or force it to flow in a different direction. Simply let go, take a deep breath and let come what may. We know everything you need to know and have everything we need to have. We have all the energy we need to respond to life when we are not trying to direct life.
Lao-tzu said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” As the master of effortless action, Lao-tzu knew that there is only ever the moment. That the past and the future do not exist. So why would we try to pre-plan for a future, by learning from the past, when they both do not exist?
There is only one constant in the world. We can trust that all will change. The essence of life is change. So, let us stop struggling against an unknowable future and accept that the moment is just perfect as it is. And then; flow.