“Clearly, all fear has an element of resistance and a leaning away from the moment. Its dynamic is not unlike that of strong desire except that fear leans backward into the last safe moment while desire leans forward toward the next possibility of satisfaction. Each lacks presence.” ~Stephen Levine
Recently, I find myself thinking more and more about the future.
My mind fills with questions, thoughts, worries, fears, hopes, dreams, wishes…
They come to me in the morning when I first wake up. They hit me in the middle of an afternoon errand. They nag at me at night as I try to fall into a peaceful sleep.
I think it’s because of this.
Change is upon me. This has been a year filled with new opportunities, people, places and adventures. 2014 has brought fresh lessons, shifts in perspectives and reminders of what I value most.
And the year isn’t even near to being over.
“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Knowing that more change is up ahead and inevitable can be exciting. I’ve been waiting a while for it, after all. But still, even when you most want something, getting it can be scary. You might question if you’re really ready for all this change and newness—especially after being still for so long.
Gratefully and gracefully receiving my blessings, without worrying so much, is something I need to work on.
I guess it might be because change can be frightening. It can shake you all the way down to your core, fill you with anxiety at all hours of the day and make your mind race in a million different directions.
Here’s what I’m discovering.
There is a difference between being afraid and being legitimately concerned.
Legitimate concerns are usually tangible and specific. They are the types of things you can voice out loud without sounding crazy. You can work through them in a logical way.
Fears can come out of nowhere and transpire from nothing. They are the types of things you don’t always want to share with someone because you—well, you guessed it—are afraid you will sound crazy or irrational. They can’t always be worked out because they are mostly hypothetical situations.
Having this realization has helped calm me down some. Now when my mind goes racing with worries about the future, I try to separate what’s a legitimate concern and what’s simply my mind coming up with a ridiculous scenario that probably won’t ever happen.
So the next time you find your mind racing with one scary thought after another scary question, try to ask yourself what’s legitimate and what’s worth letting go of.
I promise that most of your frightening thoughts are just that. Thoughts.
Your mind is a powerful thing. Whenever possible replace a negative thought with a positive one. Quiet it with some meditation and most of all…
Stay in the moment. The future will happen soon enough. Be present in the present.