Every Moment a Surprise, Episode 155

As Oliver Burkeman writes in our source for this week “So much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control. And the main thing we try but fail to control – the seasoned worriers among us, anyway – is the future”. This episode of Turning Towards Life is a conversation about what can happen when we start to relax our attempts to have life go exactly our way, the many ways this can have us return to our lives as they are, and how all this can uncover our capacity to love, delight-in and respond-to life and those around us, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.

Our source this week is brought to us by Justin:

The future will never provide the reassurance you seek from it.
Oliver Burkeman

As the ancient Greek and Roman Stoics understood, much of our suffering arises from attempting to control what is not in our control. And the main thing we try but fail to control – the seasoned worriers among us, anyway – is the future. We want to /know/, from our vantage point in the present, that things will be OK later on. But we never can. (This is why it’s wrong to say we live in especially uncertain times. The future is always uncertain; it’s just that we’re currently very aware of it.)

It’s freeing to grasp that no amount of fretting will ever alter this truth. It’s still useful to make plans. But do that with the awareness that a plan is only ever a present-moment statement of intent, not a lasso thrown around the future to bring it under control. The spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti said his secret was simple: “I don’t mind what happens.” That needn’t mean not trying to make life better, for yourself or others. It just means not living each day anxiously braced to see if things work out as you hoped.

from Oliver Burkeman‘s excellent recent article ‘The Eight Secrets to a (fairly) fulfilled life’. https://bit.ly/3iKkjid

Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash