“I just want to know the future. If I knew the future and what will happen then I can relax and enjoy the here and now.” I’ve been hearing this from other people all week, mainly former coworkers looking for a steady job, feeling anxious because they are currently unemployed. I feel this way too sometimes. A part of me wants to know whether I’ll be laid off come October when the next quarter ends. Or what my life will look like two months from now. And can I just say it sucks?
It sucks to be in a place where I’m worrying about the future, where I’m agonizing over what’s next instead of living my life. The over-used phrase, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,” comes to mind.
I know for me when I start worrying about the future it’s because I’m not trusting in the process of life. I’m not trusting in my Creator and my Creator’s plan for me. It taps into my need for feeling safe and secure because somehow I think by knowing the future I’ll realize I’m taken care of. Somewhere along the way I picked up the idea I need to know what’s ahead in order to feel safe.
I think about something my friend Heather said to me about the future, safety and security: “Are you any more secure and stable now that you’re employed full time and have your own apartment? Or is it all an illusion?”
She’s right. Tomorrow I could walk into work and find out I’ve been laid off. In the next 15 seconds my apartment could flood or catch on fire or get hit with an asteroid. So no, I’m not any more secure and stable now than when I kept moving from place to place, it only feels that way. It only feels that way because I’ve quieted my mental chatter and I’ve allowed myself to believe I’ll still be employed tomorrow and I’ll still have a place to live tonight.
The place where I’d like to be is recognizing I am safe, secure and protected at all times. Since I recognize safety, security and stability is a state of mind, I’d like to change my mental patterns to reflect that. I’d like my safety, security and stability to come from within as opposed to external situations. I’d like to feel like no matter what happens I will be taken care of.
Once again I plumb the depths of my mind, I go internally and recognize the point of power is in the here and now, is within me at all times. I start affirming for myself I am safe, secure and protected no matter the circumstances.
Sometimes though it’s not so easy to say those affirmations and to believe them. I know that too. I know sometimes we cling tightly to an idea, to a need to know the future, for a certain situation to work out, for a certain person to be in our lives, for a certain job to drop in our laps. I know sometimes it’s hard to let go.
For me, before I can get to the places I want to be, before I can start believing the affirmations I say to myself, there’s a precursor affirmation: “I am willing to release my need for X.”
I usually fill in X with something I want to get rid of, like, “I’m willing to release my need for fear,” or “I’m willing to release my need for this condition.” Something that is not serving me and only holds me back.
Why did I title this post “Be Here, Now?” Mostly because the point of power resides in this moment. Because the present is all we have. Because the future is really just a concept, always changing, ever-new. I spent far too much of my life worrying about what’s next, missing out on what lay before me, lamenting would could be as opposed to enjoying what is. I want my life to be light and easy and joyful and that comes by trusting in God, changing my mental patterns, and feeling gratitude.
I dream of a world where we release our need to know the future. I dream of a world where we live in the moment, enjoying what is. Where we all feel safe and secure and protected at all times. Where the future is something we accept, but we also laugh because we realize there is only now. I dream of a world where we recognize the power of our minds to change our lives and our world. Where we live life in real time.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.