Monday, February 13, 2017
Nothing to Look Forward to
We have been conditioned by society to always go for the “next” thing. We make ourselves totally dependent on acquiring things in order to make us feel happy, prideful and content. Is happiness the next thing? Is contentment the next thing? What is the next big thing that you are trying to “get” in order to improve or enhance “your” life?
When we are so busy trying to “make it” we forget what is right in front of you. We inject our consciousness with positivity platitudes and inspirational quotes. We see the future as the portal to freedom. We look forward to the future and believe a false sense of hope predicated on us being better off when we finally “get there”. What are we avoiding? What are we putting off? What can we do to disconnect ourselves from being so dependent on externalizations that we think will make us better and more well of people?
Well the future will never be here, because we are always constrained to the now. The future is imagined in our brains. It is a construct that allows for the survival of our species. The future never comes, but the now will always be. Be here FOR YOU!
Looking forward to the future isn’t bad in theory. It is good to be slanted to more of an optimistic perspective and surely not be consumed by fear for what happens next. Surely, planning for your future in the best circumstances is a very important to thing to do in life. It gives us a sense of drive, purpose and passion. We do our best with what we know at each moment. We can remain hopeful for whatever that means and embrace that it might not work the way we have it all planned out. This is fine. When we are open to the possibilities of uncertainty that the universe throws us curve balls, we can learn to appreciate each baby step and see these obstacles as huge life lessons.
When we set our expectations too high, we are allowing for more suffering and heartbreak. Our minds want to construct the most ideal scenarios in our head and we sometimes get let down when are hopes are too high. We have all had experiences like this. This is all part of learning and expanding self awareness. Some may see the uncertainty of the future as off-putting and they want to make sure that it has some type of loose structure as to avoid their eminent doom. The only constant is change. The only guarantee is that there will be uncertainty. Uncertainty opens up unseen doors of opportunity. We can look back and want to do certain things differently, but here you are. Here you are in all your glory and imperfection. In a way, you are exactly where you need to be.
When we aren’t so eager to try to attach ourselves and mindsets to “hope” and “faith” we can learn to become more vulnerable, but at the same time resilient. Resilience and openness to the unknown. Hope and faith are not strategies. I am not suggesting that a “strategy” is the way to go either. When we lie too heavily on a certain strategy, we are limiting our scope of awareness as well as being divisive through own own personal agendas motivated by the dreaded ego. We can be honest and tell ourselves that we are okay with whatever is thrown at us. We can be okay with not knowing what to do at the moment. We can be okay with feeling tired and not working diligently towards a certain goal. We can be okay and simply embrace what is!
“ Things will get better or they might not. Either way, they are here for you to learn from. You still there? Well, you’re always here now! ”
Get Well soon? Get Well Now. Now is all we have!
So, you can have nothing to look forward to and everything to look forward to at the same time. It is the ability to go back to your center and try not to lustfully grab for a distraction device. It is noticing those inconvenient emotions and letting them pass by giving them your undivided attention. Not pushing back. Not resisting. Not trying to intellectualize what you are going through. Just being with the now right in front of you.
“ I look forward to seeing you soon.”
“ Well, I’m right here now! ”
So you’re anxious about the future?
Well, you’re here now.
You’re uncertain about the status of your current job?
Well, you’re here now.
You’re not sure what you are going to have for dinner?
Well you’re here now.
You can use this in an exercise.
If you are feeling particularly anxious about the impeding and uncertain future, close your eyes and tell yourself, “ I am here now”. Don’t try to turn it into a mantra. Don’t try to use it as a clever and “hacky” tool to try to trick your mind. Just see the importance of that statement without making an effort to try to make yourself feel better. How do you feel after that? Did it work?
This anxiety that we feel stems from the uncertainty of our future. When we get stuck in our heads, we create unnecessary worry and suffering. We spiral down into tunnel of “What Ifs” and “ I don’t knows”. This is beautiful. We may see it a headache and attention stealer, but it is a more perfect time than any to get back to the present moment. It is like saying “ I am not being aware” and expanding your awareness. When you notice that you are not being aware, you are essentially bringing bringing awareness to your awareness.
There is great opportunity in the unknown, it just requires our attention and our non-resistance. We may be so wrapped up in trying to plan out our hour, day and year that we forget what we are doing in the first place. Are we just trying take up time? Are we just trying to escape the dragon of boredom? Are we trying to occupy our minds to avoid our inevitable suffering? Are we trying to plan our lives so well as to avoid uncertainty?
The truth of the matter is that if you cannot be grateful, present and in tune with what the present moment is, you will never be that person you want to be. You will just be stuck in a state of psychosis initiated by compulsive thought and imaginary realities. If you embrace the uncertainty of the future and appreciate each waking moment no matter what mood you are in, you are freeing yourself from unnecessary and unconscious suffering.
Are you seriously putting off your growth now? Why? It’s right in front of you!
Of course, we need to be mindful of what we want for our future and make the necessary plans around it, but if we cannot be with every baby step that that entails, we are missing the beautiful life that is enfolding in front us! The life for us. The life that flows through us. The life we don’t try to mold and construct into the high expectation, materialistic, externalized attainment, in our head all of the time life.
Be Here for you.