Are you trying to satisfy your past or satisfy your future?
Are you the kind of person who makes New Year resolutions?
I am. And I am not.
I typically use the end of each year to slow down, reflect, and assess my life – end to end. If that annual reflection produces a resolution, fine. If not, fine. You see, it’s less about finding “something to change” and more about staying committed to the process. My process is driven by a question I learned decades ago: 30 years from now, what will matter most?
It’s a powerful question – and to be honest – it’s a question I have to constantly remind myself to ask beyond my annual ritual.
Because the “now” is SOOOO incredibly full/busy/chaotic/fun/dissatisfying/etc. “Now” is such an easy distraction.
But I am learning that my definition of now is actually neither present nor very mindful. My definition of now is actually tethered to my past. And the happiness I am pursuing is unconsciously biased to satisfy my past – not my future.
What I mean by this is that my ability to feel/think is limited to the neural pathways in my brain. And as I discussed in my last post, those neural pathways were often developed and reinforced by shame and blame. And if I am not careful, everything that I feel/think will be biased toward fixing something that, frankly, no longer exists.
In other words, I will try to be successful to prove that I didn’t fail. I will try to be significant to prove that I was worthy. I will try to be in control to prove that I will never be hurt by the unexpected again. That actually generates a lot of unintended stress.
And as the Teacher said, it’s all meaningless.
So, my resolution for this year (and for many, many more) is to make a powerful shift from satisfying my past to satisfying my future. That beautiful, hope-filled future that is literally overflowing with possibility.
And to feel/think accordingly.
I mua. Onward and upward.
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