I think most of us are guilty of constantly being terrified of what comes next. We never really know what’s right around the corner. The unknown is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of life to embrace, and as Chuck Palahniuk phrased it best,” our mistrust of the future makes it hard to give up the past.” As humans, we have a tendency to hold on so tightly to our past because it’s familiar, because we recognize it, because there are no surprises.
The future possesses a much greater likelihood that the rug will be unexpectedly pulled under our feet. When talking about the future, anything can happen. The unknown makes 100% of the pie. We can get sick. We can lose our jobs. The plane we’re in can crash. Our significant others can reject us. We can have our loved ones taken away from us, temporarily or otherwise. Every thing is fair game when we deal with the future. No one is exempt, and nobody likes that. I don’t know about you, but I’m not Zen enough to live in the present. My mind either functions by reminiscing on the past or worrying/getting excited about the future.
But you know something? The Future never really comes. One way or another, it becomes disguised as Today. And what’s even remarkable is that we have more resilience and strength than we often give ourselves credit for. The fact that you’re reading this is proof of that. So far, you’ve survived all the blows and curve balls this life has thrown at you, no matter how long or how brief you may have been living on this Earth.
And honestly, I think we need to start shifting our focus on that. Let’s forget about what can happen tomorrow, or a week, or a year, or a decade from now. Let’s give ourselves a break from overthinking everything, because more often that not, this never leads to anything good. Let’s stop resisting and learn accepting. We must remember the fact that no matter how difficult life may be, we’re still standing. We’re still here.
At the end of the day, no one is exempt from pain and suffering, and at times, this can get downright overwhelming. Yet despite this reality, we find a way to cope, push through, and persevere. We’ve all experienced one form of tragedy or another, but we made it through. No matter how rattled we get, we somehow find our feet again. I don’t know about you, but I find that quite spectacular.
My present self is pretty damn well proud of my past selves for not giving up, and I’m sure I’ll make my future self feel the same.
You should be, too.