Notes From the furlough: day 62

Prepare for nothing; accept everything.

Please discuss. How does this play out in life?

I’ll start us out. Many of us are feeling jolted by recent events. 2020 has been an awakening to the fragile nature of our status quo. Much that we believed to be stable and had planned our lives around has been shown to be more temporary or conditional than we might wish. We had game plans for our lives, based on the situations as they were, that no longer may be completely valid. We’re in uncharted territory in many ways—health, finances, social life and relationships, social structure, political process—courtesy of the 2020 wildcard. It’s unsettling and sometimes scary.

The first part of today’s message reminds me of the futility and fallacy of believing in and relying on longer-term plans. I can, and I may wish to, make plans based on what I know to be true in the moment. Planning may help me feel safer and more in control, but two caveats apply: imperfect knowledge and change. My plans are based on facts I’m aware of at the precise time I make them, which are incomplete and rely on conditions being static. At best, my plans are valid for one brief, shining Camelot point in time.

So how do I proceed, if my previous plans are at least partially broken and if any new plans I make are likely to be flawed? The answer lies in the second portion of today’s message. When “life as I know it” is severely disrupted, my first instinct is to resist. I may not want to believe the change is real. I may hope and long to return to the way things were. I may even attempt to bargain with the Universe to restore what is known and comfortable: “If I can just get back to ABC, I’d be willing to XYZ.” All of this is wasted energy and focus, because life has moved on from what was.

When I’m willing to accept the undesired and unplanned events, even if I don’t like them, I’m freed to be present in the moment to deal with what is, liberated from the weight of regret. I can choose my actions right now, being aware I can always choose again in any given moment.

How about you? How do you handle the unexpected? Are you a planner or a floater?

For more insight on dealing with the unexpected, see Chapter 7 Let Go and Be Free from my book The Sharing: The Owner’s Manual for Being Human.