Fearing Tomorrow

Buzz the bee brings more than the pollen of negative voices. He brings a chain reaction that we often cannot recognize until the explosion at the end of the chain throws us against a wall. It’s a nasty reaction that can impede our success or end it altogether. If we value our future, our tranquility, or the preservation of our hope, we must stop the reaction. Or at the very least learn how to clean up the rubble.

All of this stems from the fear of tomorrow. The fear of not having money…tomorrow. The fear of not being happy…tomorrow. The fear of missing a bill…tomorrow. The fear of something going wrong…tomorrow. The fear of losing it all…tomorrow. The fear of losing your job…tomorrow. The fear of not being able to afford that trip…tomorrow. Do you see what I’m getting at?

Tomorrow is scary.

But only because we want it to be.

Before you run off this post, muttering about how I don’t get it, trust me, I do. Hear me out.

Tomorrow is scary because that’s what we choose. That’s what we want. There’s a simple reason why, too. (How bout them apples?) Negativity is easy to predict and to project. If I walk into tomorrow thinking, no…convinced that it’s going to be awful, I’m going to lose money, I’m going to miss a bill, I’m going to be upset, then IF I have a terrible day I can say, “See? I knew this would happen.” And I might even feel better about it. The bad might not seem as bad since I worried about it yesterday. Since I thought tomorrow would be awful, and it turned out to be, I justified my negative prediction. So, this means I get to keep thinking tomorrow will be awful. If TODAY was awful, well gee. Just think about what tomorrow might be!

If tomorrow isn’t bad though, we get to feel even better because we were wrong! We thought it would be awful, we set the bar on the ground. Actually, we buried it underground. (The bar doesn’t get much lower than that, does it?) When we inevitably have a better day than our expectations, we feel powerful. We feel great. Man, if you’re expecting to lose your job, miss a payment, cancel a trip, and fall through financial freefall having a normal day, with one spilled coffee, seems like the best thing ever. Doesn’t it?

This is dangerous.

It, very quickly, creates a comfortable loop about thinking negatively and projecting bad things onto tomorrow. Let’s be real, there’s nothing we know about tomorrow. Not even our schedule. Sure. Might look like we’re doing a, b, and c, but we could get sick. Someone could cancel. Ten million bucks could fall into our lap and we wouldn’t need to do anything. Our significant other might take us on a surprise day trip.

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We don’t know. Pretending that we do, is bogus. It’s lying to ourselves.

The problem doesn’t come from lying to ourselves, though. It comes in telling ourselves that tomorrow will be bad. Not just kinda eh, but capital B-A-D, BAD. And not just tomorrow, but the concept of tomorrow. Next week, next month, next year. It’ll all be BAD. Why don’t we tell ourselves tomorrow will be good? Our finances will be great? Why can’t we say, “Yes, this relationship will last”? Why can’t we expect and hope for a great tomorrow?

Because there’s nothing fun about getting your hopes let down.

It hurts, it burns, it stings, and it lasts. Worse than that though, if we try to set the bar high every day with our hopes and expectations, when our hopes are let down we have to look to tomorrow and expect it to be better. We have to open ourselves up to being hurt again.

Teaching ourselves to never hope or set high expectations for any day is just a protective method and a poor one at that. It does not protect us the way we think it does. Instead of saving us from pain, it prevents us from experiencing the little joys, the large joys, and it prevents us from pushing each day to be better than the last.

In short, telling yourself everything could crumble tomorrow instills a deep sense of fear that ultimately cements you to your current place in life. To move forward, that fear must be nullified.

It is okay to hope tomorrow will be good and to expect that.

But how? How do we teach ourselves that tomorrow will be great?

Start with forgetting about tomorrow. You’re living in TODAY. Tomorrow is scary, right? Well then don’t think about it, think about today. Before you can stop worrying about the elusive tomorrow, you need to stop worrying about today.

Things to help do this:

  1. Remember, it will be okay.
  2. Find a mantra to repeat to bat off the negative thoughts.
  3. Go for a walk. Do exercise. Remind yourself you are alive now.
  4. LAUGH. Even if it’s a fake, goofy laugh, LAUGH.
  5. Enjoy your day. You are allowed to be happy. Give yourself that permission.
  6. Open yourself to spontaneity (the needs of the heart). You want that cookie in the bakery? Go get it. You want to go for a run? A trip? GO FOR IT.

So, what do you do when you’ve mastered this?

Enjoy that too.

Society is very keen on telling us that the future is bad, that we must prepare and stress right now or else we’ll be sorry. There is some validity to this, yes. It’s important to plan ahead and look to where we want our lives headed. But don’t live in the tomorrows you may never see!

There is NO reason why you can’t enjoy thinking about how great tomorrow will be.

Don’t give me the “that’s not realistic” excuse. Because it is. I thought I’d have a great day today filled with puppy cuddles, smelling spring flowers, and giving my buggies this article. And guess what? So far I’m having a GREAT day! If expecting a good day is not realistic to you, it might point towards a mindset issue.

Tomorrow doesn’t have to be feared and unknown. It can be exciting and unknown.

If you believe having great expectations for tomorrow (and today) is not realistic, ask yourself a few questions. Are you sabotaging your happiness? Are you predicting bad days, forcing them into existence, so that you have control over your sorrows? Are you afraid of relinquishing that perceived control?

Why are you afraid of tomorrow?

 

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