In a conversation the other day with my inner guidance, I was trying to find out some specifics on a project that I am working on. As in, when is this going to take place? Who's going to be handling it? Where is it going to be done? When is it going to be complete? All questions that my restless mind wanted to know. NOW!
However, the response that I got to my incessant questioning was that I didn't need the answers to those questions NOW. All those answers were in the future and I was on a "need to know" basis. Well, I must admit, my jaw dropped a bit on this one as the full impact of that statement hit me. You're on a need to know basis.
Living Life On A Need To Know Basis
After I reflected for a few minutes, I started to laugh. After all, when one is living in the present, one indeed doesn't need to know a lot of the particulars about the future. There's a lot of things we don't need to know until we get there. As a matter of fact, it seems that the way to be perfectly happy is to accept that you're on a need to know basis.
For example, I was questioning how my novel would be published (print vs. ebook), and who would be handling the publicity, and who would publish the print version, and how it would be distributed, etc. etc. The response to the whole list was the same -- that the answers to those questions would be revealed as they were needed. Since I was still in the process of editing and doing some rewrites, that I really didn't need to know the answers now.
Letting Go of the Need to Control
Wow! Talk about being told to live in the present. I really didn't need to know the answers to those questions yet. It was only my needy ego or my insecure little self that wanted the answers so it could feel safe, as if it had everything under control. Yet, as I know from experience, I personally have nothing under control. I may think I do, I certainly may wish I did, but that is all illusion or wishful thinking.
The control lays elsewhere. It lays with what I like to call the Universe, and frankly, I can't give you an exact picture of what that looks like. I am reminded of a response I had given in college in the middle of a philosophy class debate on "Does God Exist?" My contribution to the conversation had been that it didn't really matter. Whether or not there is a God was irrelevant to how I would live my life. I would be the best person I could be anyway.
Living Day by Day, Moment by Moment
In the same way, we need to live our life, day by day, moment by moment, in the best way we can regardless of what will take place tomorrow, or the day after that. We're on a need to know basis! We don't need to know about the details of our future. We only need to know where we are now and where we want to be.
We can compare the whole scenario to a GPS system. When you program a GPS, you tell it your starting point, and you tell it where you want to go. Then you are given directions as you need them. If you're taking a journey of 1000 miles, the navigational system doesn't spout out the whole directions to you in the first five minutes. Of course not! It knows you're on a need to know basis. It gives you the directions as you need them, or perhaps just a bit ahead of time so you can be prepared for the turn or the juncture coming up.
Universal GPS: God's Perfect Solution
The Universe, as well, gives us directions or guidance as needed. When we're at the beginning of our journey, we don't need to know that at mile marker 995 we'll be making a left-hand turn. We will be given that information when we get closer to that point. Because, who knows -- we may choose to veer off onto a different road at some point along our journey. We may decide to take the scenic route, or take what we believe is a short-cut. The directions will change as we go along the way and exert our free will, perhaps taking a road that was not on the original route. But, not to worry, the Universal GPS (God's Perfect Solution) will take care of the details and provide you with updated directions to the destination that you have programmed.
One thing I know: If we stop being concerned about the specifics of the future, and instead take care of the specifics of the present, we will be much happier, more relaxed, healthier, and more at peace with ourselves and with our life.
The Happy Mind: Seven Principles to Clear Your Head and Lift Your Heart
by William R. Yoder, Ph.D.
The Happy Mind offers an alternative way of thinking based on seven simple principles. This new way of thinking enables you to undo the limits and distortions of your current way of thinking, and thus allows your mind to experience deep and lasting happiness.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.More articles by Marie T. Russell