Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Of The Future?

Yesterday, I sat with a couple and heard something I have heard over and over. The wife expressed her concern that she would start to work on the relationship, things would get back on track ("a patch on the inner-tube" was her expression), and then in 5 years, everything would fall apart ("another blow-out" was her expression). Fear of problems in the future was stopping her from working on the relationship today.

Last night, I continued to watch the devastation from Hurricane Katrina on the news. I watched a man describe the loss of his wife, swept away in the collapse of their house. "I've lost everything I have, everything I have" were the words he repeated. Clearly, from his circumstances, he was not referring to anything material. It was the loss of his wife. The loss of his most dear possession, his marriage, was heartbreaking.

It made me aware of two things: First, there is no promise of what will come tomorrow. If anything, since 9/11, our world has been permanently reminded of the impermanence of life. As a doctor once said to me, "life is terminal." So, my client yesterday was right. There is no guarantee that things won't fall apart down the road. As I say to people when they tell me, "I'm just waiting for the other shoe to fall," the other shoe will fall, followed by another and another. Because that is what life is about. There is no guarantee, so we can either work to protect ourselves or throw caution to the wind, and work toward something better right now!

Second, the hurricane made it very clear that nature can take everything from us but love. Our possessions can be flooded, wind-blown, and swept to sea. Our loved ones may even die, but the love remains. In the end, what we all want is a relationship of love. So, we can either be scared for the future and retract, or we can embrace life and build love.




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