How I am learning to practice gratitude, enjoy the present, and stop living in fear of the future.
Anxiety is real, friends. And soooo many of us deal with it every single day. Anxiety can find us in so many different ways and looks a little different to each of us. For me, anxiety and fear of the future is what has kept me chained up for so long. I find myself living in the what ifs more than I do in the here and now. Fear of not having enough money. Fear of my business collapsing. Fear of not being able to carry a child. Fear of carrying a child and then losing that child. Fear of being alone. Fear of another divorce. Fear of getting sick or watching a loved on suffer through sickness. Fear of looking in the mirror because I've gained a significant amount of weight over the last few months, damn my new boyfriend.
I recently expressed all of this to my therapist last week and she made some valid points. What if you die today, Marni? How much money is enough money, Marni? What does a bright future look like to you, Marni? Are you loving your partner where they are or are you putting expectations on them?
These questions opened my eyes to so many possibilities that I never considered. Maybe my future won't look like lavish vacations backpacking across Europe or dining in a French cafe. Maybe me and my future husband will camp in the woods for our honeymoon and I will lay in his arms under the stars. Maybe we will take our children on a beach vacation and share a beach house with good friends and family to minimize the cost. Or maybe we will go on extravagant vacations. No matter where we go or how it looks though, isn't the most important part that we are laughing? That we are snuggling at night? That we are taking pictures and truly embracing every second and enjoying the company of each other? Isn't building community relationships where we find love, support and encouragement the best thing about being alive?
Have you ever sat outside in a quiet place and just noticed everything around you? The smell of the air? The feeling of dirt or grass or asphalt underneath you? The way the sun or the wind feels on your skin? If not, I highly recommend you make a time to do this.
When I find myself in fear of the future I am practicing gratitude by listing things I am grateful for right here and now. What is going well for me right now? Maybe you hit a promotion in your business. Maybe your baby took their first steps. Maybe you paid all of your bills on time and still had some extra cash to buy those sunglasses you've been eyeing. Maybe you and your man enjoyed a nice dinner together this week. Maybe you celebrated a good friend's birthday. It's so easy for us to feel like we are entitled to these things, but friends, these are all a GIFT. These are things that are the icing on the cake of being alive.
Anxiety will still come, that's nearly inevitable. But how we choose to face it, is 100% our choice. These feelings come directly from the enemy. He wants you to second guess yourself. He wants you to fear the future so much that life doesn't even seem worth living. But I am saying, NO. I am choosing joy. How about you?