By Louis De Lauro
Take a look at the photo. What do ya think?
Did the dog knock over the Buddha so hard that the Buddha’s head went flying? Maybe the landscaper broke the Buddha and he has no intention of returning to the scene of the crime? Did the homeowner get angry and smash the Buddha to the ground? Nah, I know the owner, that didn’t happen.
Wait, maybe I don’t know her as well as I think I know her. Maybe she angrily smashed that Buddha when her attempt to meditate went wrong? Nah, that’s crazy. Geez, I have a lot of crazy thoughts. Or maybe the only answer is you and I will never know what happened to the Buddha who lost his head. The headless Buddha might always be an unsolved mystery. One thing is for sure, whether we embrace uncertainty or not, life will simply move forward anyway. It’s gotta be that way, sometimes we will never know what happened. And we certainly don’t know what will happen next.
And that’s okay.
To embrace uncertainty, you need to understand that you can’t control the world around you. In fact, we all need to accept that we don’t know what’s next. And what’s next is sometimes mildly upsetting or depressing or frightening.
Our phone service will fail us. Our car will break down. Our friend will let us down. We will get lost, even though we all have GPS. We will unexpectedly lose someone we love dearly. If a backyard Buddha can lose its head, then anything can happen and will happen. Life is uncertain.
There is only one thing we can control, and that is our reaction to uncertainty.
I know I am a simpleton, but hear me out. We are only going to find happiness in this world when we try to find acceptance of uncertainty. I can’t control the world around me. I can try and on occasion, I will succeed in controlling what happens around me, but more often I will fail. Things will go right. And things will go wrong. Things must go wrong, there is no other way.
So can I keep my composure? Even when I have no idea what is going to happen next?
Can I smile and laugh when it’s just small stuff? Or will I lose my head like the Buddha in the photo?
And when it’s big stuff that goes wrong can I shed tears, as many tears as needed, and in time move forward and do what’s best for me and the people around me?
My answer is yes, I can embrace uncertainty, at least until I can’t. And when I can’t embrace uncertainty, that’s okay because one thing I am certain about is that I am imperfect. So the best I can do is try. You should try to embrace uncertainty too.
So what next for me? I guess I will give embracing imperfection a try.
Photo: Amy Clarke