I have goals. Lots of them. Dreams, too.
Yet, I find myself disconnected to them more than I’d like to say. By disconnected, I mean that they don’t seem worth fighting for in the moment. The desire is gone. The push to make it happen? Absent.
I know I’m not alone in this, but I do think that I’m more susceptible than others. I’m a ‘feeler’ much more than a ‘thinker’. My emotions are too often my guide. Ignoring them is like devaluing them to me. I can’t put them on pause and press play later. I do think, maybe, there are people who are able to do this.
I am not one of them.
I also think that, as a parent, I don’t get as many opportunities to feel my emotions as, say, a non-parent. When all four of my children are home, I am constantly in a dialogue with myself to keep things steady, calm. It’s that holding space thing. I do it for my children and sometimes that means I don’t do it for myself.
I’ve spent all my energy mastering the monster within (AKA Scream Mom) and the brownie calls to me with it’s sweet relief. Yes, I have that long term goal to lose weight. I am so very tired though – of not giving into myself, of choosing the right thing, of pressing pause on my desires.
The brownie is gone. Eaten.
I gave myself something, I try to reason. Yet, inside I know.
I know that I also stole something from myself – something from my future self.
My future self…
In my therapy program, there was a phrase that we often said to deal with anxiety.
My future self will handle it.
It was a way of recognizing that in this moment, I could do nothing to change the outcome or sway the future. So many times, there is nothing to be done, but wait for the inevitable hammer to drop. Yet, while we wait, we destroy the present with fictional pain from the future.
Sometimes, too, there are things to be done, ways to prepare for the future. In my scenario above, I could have NOT eaten the brownie. It would have prepared me for the future – a future with a healthier me in the spotlight. Damn, she’s hot!
Yet, sometimes, in fact most times, I find that valuing the current me is more effective. Here is what I mean…
As I ate the brownie, I reasoned that I had given myself something, but it felt suspiciously false. I knew that all I had given myself – was a pudgier gut down the road.
“My future self will handle it.” I automatically reasoned. Oh, well there it is. How will my future self handle a pudgy gut? With debasement and internal angry dialogue of course.
Damn it, future self!
And then, like a dawning morning, a light presented itself. My future self could find ways to meet present desires that don’t include brownies.
Things like watching my own TV show while the children are school. A TV show with romance, swearing and adult themes – something I NEVER do during the day.
I could also go online and find a flourless brownie made with protein powder and applesauce. I could give myself the gift of making something ONLY for me. (And yes, even chalk flavored brownies can be a gift!)sf
I could light a candle and honor all the things I gave up for the small people in my life.
I could spend 15 minutes distracting myself from the brownie urge with something else that I like – something like a game on my phone, one of those cool adult coloring books or knitting a winter hat in spring.
The point I am trying to make is that sometimes giving into your short term feelings is a good way to move forward. If I hadn’t gifted myself that brownie, then I would never have thought of all of the things I could have done instead. I just would have obsessed about the damn brownie that I didn’t get to eat!
(Or maybe I’m just reasoning my way out of my current brownie guilt? Quite possible.)
If today you are struggling with disconnect from your goals and dreams, then maybe find a way to honor it, to give in. Sometimes, it’s exactly what you need to move forward, to reroute your map into the future.
And if not? Your future self will handle it.