It occurred to me, in the middle of one of my more high-anxiety moments this week, that the days are going to keep coming. The future is always right there, waiting to be had. While this can seem a bright and beautiful thing for some, to me it can be terrifying. How will I deal with all of those pressures? How will I handle everything that everyone expects of me? How can I be better?
And in the middle of the storm, I remembered to breathe. Just that: breathe. If we take life one breath at a time, we will get to the tough stuff, but we can also breathe our way through it.
You can’t stop the future from happening. You can try to run away, but it’s going to follow you.
I’m not saying that this particular thought is anything new. Actually, it’s very old. It is one of the more basic tenets of mindfulness, to leave the future to its own devices and worry more about the present.
It’s been a long time since I felt caught up in trying to control the future. It’s no fun to experience, but it’s good to check oneself every so often, to go, “Oh yeah, this is what it feels like to try to control. What would it feel like if I let go of some of that control?”
I’ll tell you, it feels better. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative.