“We’ll see” was often a phrase that we heard growing up that would send us away rolling our eyes and knowing that the answer was probably a no.
As I have been working with my meditation practice, I notice this phrase has more value than I seemed to realize. Instead of grasping and attaching to the highs and lows of life, the yes and the no, perhaps we can hold a mindfulness attention to the idea “we’ll see.” If we can let go of the intense aversion to something or someone or the clinging hope of intense attachment, it will alleviate our suffering and bring us more peace.
There is a lovely story that I heard in my meditation class that truly exemplifies this idea of non attachment….
Many years ago, there once lived a very wise farmer. He lived and worked on his farm with the help of his one and only horse. One day, as the farmer came out to start his early morning work, he realized that the horse had run away over night. The neighbors, hearing of this news, came over right away to console the wise farmer. “We are so sorry,” they said, “This must be terrible! Your one and only horse!” Calmly, the farmer answered, “We’ll see.”
A few days later, the horse returned with a beautiful stallion in tow. Again, the neighbors heard the news and returned to the wise farmer’s farm. “We heard the news,” they said. “This is wonderful! Now you will have two horses to help you on the farm!” Again, the wise farmer responded, “we’ll see”.
The farmer’s son, being great with horses, decided he wanted to train the beautiful stallion. As he was working with the horse one day, the horse bucked and threw him off. The wise farmer’s son had broken his leg. Again, the neighbors returned to the farm. “We are so sorry to hear that your son has broken his leg! This is terrible!” Again, the wise farmer replied, “we’ll see.”
A few days later, war erupted across the land and all the young men were being recruited for battle. The farmer’s son could not go because he had broken his leg. Again, the neighbors returned and again commented on the joy of this occasion…and again the farmer had to reply… “we’ll see.”
Whatever it is that shows up in our lives, we never know where it may lead. One hard moment, could be turning us to a path of great joy. Remember the story of the wise farmer the next time you notice aversion or intense attachment, even if it’s for a moment.
We never know where life is leading us next.