I’m a dreamer – for me, there is always a next step. I’m a planner. I love to know exactly how to get to that next step. I’m a thinker. I can spend considerable amounts of time sorting through next-step options. These are great qualities when action is required. But like so many great qualities, they are double edged. What about when there IS no action required? Because you haven’t even gotten there yet??
Worse, what about when you anticipate all of the (usually) horrible things that could go wrong in the future and start to plan for those? I have contingency plans for the deaths of all my loved ones. I have plans up to Z for my son’s educational future that are complicated by school acceptances and familial obligations. These plans all involve moving, changing, up-ending the current order of things….but I have them under control!!
But… of course I don’t. Who can control the future? Who can know it? Why my obsession with it? The plans I make are my cocoon. I tell myself that they will protect me against ANY possible eventuality. As if any plan could protect me from grief, confusion, or disappointment. As if a huge, unexpected KaPOW can’t come out of nowhere and change everything. As if I will even WANT to go through with the plans I make today, tomorrow.
Letting go of the future is hard! Which is ridiculous really – we don’t even possess it. But maybe it’s better to say, Letting go of my version of the future is hard. Letting the actual future come to me means I have to sit still. And wait. And feel uncomfortable. And be where I actually am in time and space and work and love and home. And realize I am mostly powerless about what tomorrow and the day after that will bring.
To rail against this natural order of things – today is today and today is what we have – leads to stress, anxiety, sadness and confusion. I have been reminding myself that everything I really need to face the future I already have – both internally and externally. My boyfriend Harry says he doesn’t make a decision before he has to. When you have to jump – you jump based on the information you have at that moment because it’s the most current and most applicable to the situation as you know it right then – in your present.
I am working on this! Giving up, giving over, giving in to what the future holds and being fully here – so when decisions are necessary I choose my best options based on what is now.
You can steer the boat – but you can’t control the weather.