By: Mary Hoofnagle
I’m in the midst of a battle. I’m fighting with my own future. I’m looking for a job as a school counselor. I need this job to finish up my graduate degree, so there is a lot of pressure riding on this moment. I started out completely faithful that my needs would be provided for. As I have hit some bumps in the road, I have slowly become more and more anxiety ridden. That’s when I begin to play the what-if game. And as I scroll through all the possible what-if scenarios, I begin to plan out possible solutions—in order to manage my anxiety; thus enabling me to go with the flow.
Um…does anyone else see the problem here? If I’m planning out every possible turn and corner, I’m never actually going with the flow. In the meantime, more obstacles that did not present themselves in my what-if scenarios appear along my path. And now that the road to my future is a rugged pathway along the Oregon Trail, I’m really just waiting to die of typhoid or snakebite.
The more I worry, the more negativity I bring in, and the worse things will get. One thing is clear: I have to let go of the future. I can’t control it, so I have to make peace with it. There are three steps to meeting this goal:
1-Clarify my vision of what I want.
2-Accept that whatever happens is for my benefit.
3-Stay in the here and now and remember that each moment is building the foundation for my future vision.
Any one of these tasks is powerful on its own, but they really work together to bring us peace. We have to act in the present to set ourselves up for the possibility of the future we want. But, we must remember that it is just one possibility. There are myriad possibilities before us, and we must have faith and know that the universe is conspiring in our favor—so long as we step out of the way. When we force too much, it can have the opposite of our intended effect.
Trusting in the future is easier said than done. Faith is a muscle and needs to be exercised. The good news is, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So it is, in part, a matter of practicing letting go and believing in what the future holds. The Secret and The Law of Attraction are resources that focus on positive future thinking and letting go. One of my favorite tools from The Secret is vision boards. I love vision boards because they allow me to set intentions and look toward what I want, but then I can let go of trying to make it happen. I’m a visual person, so it gives me something to look at as a reminder of the amazing things that lie ahead. It also reminds me to look at what is happening right now to lead me there. And for help with staying in the moment, I am a huge fan of Ekhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. It’s really an excellent primer on present mindedness.
Following his death last month, Zach Sobiech’s story has gone viral on the internet. Zach is inspirational to me because even though he didn’t necessarily have tomorrow, he was still planning out what he wanted his future to look like, and he understood how this moment is a building toward that vision, so it shouldn’t be wasted. That’s how we should live—with sight of what the future should be, but understanding that this moment right now is the only one that counts.
The perfect ending to this series on past, present, and future is a quote by Wayne Dwyer:
“Stop living as if life were a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”
Liked this article? You can also read Why We Need Technology Timeouts.
Brought to you by Just Mind, counselors in Austin who are working to provide their clients with the best care possible.