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Who are you without your future?

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It’s easy to get lost in your future.

We all know that something certain will happen to us in the future (death), but that’s one of the only things we can predict correctly.

But when you live at risk for disease, or with a diagnosis of disease that will affect your health from here on out, your brain will create a future story in your mind, images and words combined together to show you a possibility of how it thinks things might go.

Your brain could be right, your brain could be wrong.

But imagine if your brain had no way of creating that story. Imagine, if like other animals, you were simply aware of the present moment. Who would you be without your future?

It’s kind of trippy to think about, huh? Because humans can create stories about the future, they’ve been able to engineer things that hopefully make the future better. From machines to medications, creature comforts to coaching programs (Hi!), people are obsessed with making things better, always with the future in mind.

I’m grateful that we humans have this ability, and the imagination and skill to get this done. But that same imagination sure can create a lot of unnecessary suffering.

You are ALWAYS living in the present moment, no matter what your brain is distracting or hypnotizing you with. In the present moment, you ARE you, without your future. We all are.

If you entertain that for a moment, just let go of the future imaginings in your mind, how does that feel? Is it sad to think about losing that future? Or is it a relief?

If it feels like a relief, that’s a pretty good sign that your brain has you stuck in a negative suggestion about what it thinks will occur. Remember, the thoughts your brain thinks about the future are suggestions, possible predictions, but they are not facts. They could become facts, they could not.

Much of your future depends on you right now. At any moment you can shift paths. But shifting paths can be scary. To quote Abraham Maslow:

“In any given moment, we have two choices: step forward into growth or step backward into safety.”

No matter what, whether you live at risk for disease, are diagnosed with disease, or are just fearful of what your future holds, the story your brain is telling about the future is not yet real. This means you have time to change the story. To do this:

  1. Recognize the story your brain is telling now.
  2. Decide whether or not you like that story.
  3. Use your imagination to rewrite the story.
  4. Start listening to your rewrite more than you listen to the old story.
  5. Be open to possibilities, you might surprise yourself.

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