What happens when you have hope for something in the future, but you’re afraid it might not happen?
I’ve been paying attention to this lately. It’s like there is a constant argument going on between the part of me that wants to feel hope, and another that tells me, “no, don’t. What if it doesn’t happen how you want it?”
For a while, I welcomed the comfort of telling myself it would likely not happen. If I focused on how low the chances were of things going my way, it seemed easier to continue life as is. Safer. It protected me from disappointment, right?
Despite the protection, I wasn’t happy with the cost of it. When good things happened, to keep the safety, I needed to brush the hope off, as if the good things weren’t as good as they felt; as if they couldn’t possibly mean that I could get what I wanted. This seemed wrong, and like a wasted opportunity to feel joy.
One day I asked myself, “well, what if I take the joy of those good things in? How can I still feel the happiness of what is, despite what might go wrong?”
A wise voice in my mind answered, “by not focusing on the goal. Don’t get attached to what you want. Instead, enjoy what you already have.”
This cleared the answer for me. Because if what I want in the future doesn’t happen, I know I can feel sadness, regret and disappointment, and survive it. I don’t want to live my life dismissing every day joy because I’m afraid of what I might feel in the future. It does scare me that I may feel those things, but it could also go the way I want. So I choose courage, giving myself the gift of living my joy today.
I grew up speaking Spanish. English is my second language. When I communicate in English, I make mistakes. I've chosen to let my writing reflect the kind of mistakes I make when speaking, so that you have an idea of what it might feel like to talk to me. I trust the message is still clear but, if it's not, please don't hesitate to ask me for clarification.
The information provided on my blog is a mix of my personal thoughts, professional approach, and articles related to mental health. The purpose of sharing all of this is to communicate the models at the core of my practice, as well as to provide education. I hope this will help to minimize some of the power imbalances related to my profession. The articles on this blog should not be considered as professional advice for any one person or group of people. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of this content for you, please contact a qualified mental health professional.