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Is your future so bright that it’s blinding you? Have you ever stopped to think about a question such as this?
I know, it’s kind of a confusing question. Let me explain.
I am an extremely goal oriented person. I love a challenge, and I love proving others wrong when they tell me I can’t do something.
These may seem like good things, and most times they are…except for the times that my future is sabotaging my present.
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Let me ask you a few questions to see if you really are like me, too.
Have you ever said to yourself:
- When I am finally ______________, then I will truly be happy
- When I finally get this done (whatever it is), I can finally stop working so hard
- I know that when I become ___________, then I will finally be content
- One day I won’t be so _________, and then I won’t struggle so much
These are other questions like them could be an indicator that like me, your future can be so bright that it is actually blinding you.
Having goals and working toward them, placing hope in the future, and anticipating a new place whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually are all good things, as long as you are not sacrificing where you are, what you have, or who you are in the present moment because of them.
Reading You’re Going to Be Okay has been such a great experience for me. This week as I have focused on chapter six, I have been reminded that happiness and joy really is to be found all around us. As the author points out, we were designed for a Promised Land, but really there are glimpses of that Promised Land all around us.
- Have you ever stared at a sunset and thought something like “this must be what heaven is like”?
- Have you ever seen the powerful self-sacrificing love of a couple who has been married nearly 70 years firsthand?
- Have you ever seen the miracle of life unfold before your very eyes with the birth of a newborn baby?
There are so many times in life where I experience something that is so exquisite that I feel an overwhelming joy wash over me and know that in that moment, I am experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth.
I think it is important to note, however, that just as the author points out, finding those moments of exquisite elation does need to be intentionally done. Part of being human in a sinful world is being a victim of the ugly things that surround us. These things, these people, and these experiences threaten to steal our joy, and they will succeed if we don’t fight to hang on to it for ourselves.
Let’s not just stop here. Let’s talk about what to do if your future is so bright that it is actually blinding you. Let’s talk about what to do when you are so focused on the future and of getting through a hard time that you are missing out on the life that is right before you.
When things in life spin out of control, it is often because we are cruising along at breakneck speed. Pausing will allow us to catch our breath and then to move forward to these next steps. But, the pause must come first
Get some perspective
I think when we focus too much on the future and lose our joy in the present it is because we are not looking at our future realistically. Will life really be void of all problems once you finally get to that place where you’re headed? Will accomplishing your goal really solve all your present problems? Maybe some, but keep in mind that new challenges will also come along – even when you’ve finally reached the promised land you are working towards.
When I get stuck feeling only dread and despair in the present and feeling as though my future is the only time and place in which I can be happy, it is always beneficial for me to reflect back on where I’ve been. When the future is blinding me to my present gifts and joys, I am able to see what’s right in front of me a bit better after I see all that I’ve been through or all that I’ve accomplished to get to the point where I am currently at. Just as the future is a good place to aim, the past is an effective source of strength to propel me to get there.
Get some sunglasses
The truth is, my future will never be the solution to all my problems no matter what it holds, and to see it as that only blinds me in the moment. Getting some sunglasses to use when looking into the future allows me to look at the future from a realistic standpoint while also being able to focus on where I currently am. A realistic and healthy view of the future helps me find happiness and joy right where I’m at. In this way, this healthy and balanced view of the future serves as a pair of sunglasses to block out that overbearing glare.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes from this chapter:
Found on page 124 the author says, “…we can sabotage our good lives by demanding perfect ones. Our pursuit of happiness can be the very thing that keeps it forever out of our grasp.”
With this in mind, don’t let the promises of your future keep you from finding joy in the present moment.
Do you want to join us for Monday’s Inspirational Reads? You can.
There will be posts labeled as Monday’s Inspirational Reads here every Thursday. Feel free to grab a book and reflect with us! Here’s the book we’re reading!