I do believe in the future. Is anyone out there shocked? For all the time I spend talking about directing out focus to the now, it may seem strange that I’m going to talk about the future today. The future is an extension of the now.
When we get there, it’s still the now. The future only exists in our minds, but we’re all pretty clever. We can project a few good, reasonably solid ideas about what that hypothetical now will look like.
Everything after that, however, falls into the realm of guessing. There are just too many variables working for anyone to accurately predict a personal future.
That’s what I’m talking about. The anxiety and hell we put ourselves through by dragging the toxins from a completely unrealized future into right now. I mean, by all means, let’s suffer twice, shall we?
Even for absolutely sure, undeniably horrible things that are going to happen in the immediate future, where’s the sense in agonizing twice?
There’s some research evidence that deals with end of life issues. It points out that family members of a dying person do tend to deal better with their loved one’s passing if they have at least several weeks to a few months to start acclimatizing to the concept of imminent death.
However, that’s a fairly specific situation: death is due to illness or injury, there’s a timeline, a set amount of time till their loved one’s death that’s known, and there are professional caregivers there to describe the situation in detail.
It’s the end result that causes anxiety, but more than that—it causes the onset of the grieving process, which is a healthy, normal reaction. This circumstance is entirely different that most of our worries because everything is either known or highly probable, not the product of self-generate anxiety.
Preemptive worry, anxiety, stress and all-around fretting in our day to day life is not the same thing. It’s absolutely not the same thing as taking logical, reasonable steps that will help us out when the future blends seamlessly into the now.
How much we prepare for the future depends on our now. If we’re so busy living a hypothetical future, I can tell you something for certain: we’ll be totally unprepared for the imminent now when it arrives.