Oh… the big fat scary UNKNOWN! Let’s talk about it and get it out in the open. I have never (well, barely ever) met a person who doesn’t once in a while worry about what the future holds.
The thing is that we don’t just leave the unknown as what it is, namely the future, which we simply cannot predict EVER --no matter how hard we try. In and of itself the future is something pretty neutral. Yet, we build the future -the unknown- up to be this big, scary, volatile box of bad jokes and mean tricks.
The unknown all too often becomes subject to our wildest imagination where our deepest worries find expression, possibility, and at times even likelihood.
I know for myself that if I let fear and worry take over, my imagination is über-creative and can get me to pretty much any ugly place. Before I know it, I imagine myself as a broke, lonely, grumpy, unhealthy, old lady who is in hopeless debt forever. Everyone is pointing the finger at me, saying "What is she doing with her life?"... you get the point.
How is that for an energy drainer and sure-fire stressor in your life?
Let’s be honest, our imagination is completely unfiltered if we act from a place of worry. However, when do you ever let your imagination go wild for how awesome your life could be?
How much time do you spend imagining yourself in a relationship that is so filled with love and joy that you wanna write a book about how awesome the person you are with is? How much time do you spend imagining being in a job that is so inspirational and fun that you open your email in the morning excited for the possibilities of your day? How much time do you spend cherishing your body and trusting that it will be a strong, healthy vehicle for the rest of your life?
I bet the balance between your worrying thoughts and your expect-good-things thoughts is off.
The thing you have to realize about worrying about the unknown is that just because you worry today, won’t make tomorrow’s outcome less likely. All you are doing is 1) draining your energy for what you are doing today, and 2) make yourself blind to all the good things life has in store.
So, here is what I would like to challenge you to do this week: think about how you can change your relationship to the unknown?
With every worrying thought you have about what unfortunate outcome your future might hold in store for you, come up with a beautiful and nurturing scenario as well. This takes practice and patience, so take a playful and lighthearted approach.
Are some things going to go down differently than you might anticipate? Yes.
Will there be situations that feel less than amazing, fun and full of joy in your life? Likely.
Are there going to be unexpected challenges and hurdles? Probably.
There will also be hundreds of times when something unexpected happens that will make your life more awesome, more full of soul and love, and richer in your friendship and the connections you make with people because YOU ARE PRESENT, YOU ARE THERE, and YOU ARE ENGAGED WITH THE NOW.
If you create openness within yourself and in your life for good things to happen, they will happen AND you will recognize them as such.
Like my brother, Johannes jokingly likes to remind me: "Caroline," he says “life is not a pony ranch.” :)
True, but life is also not a ranch of monsters and dragons.
In the comments below, let me know what you spend too much time worrying about and what your personalized, beautyfied, awesomized version of this scenario might look like.