With all that’s said about journeys, it always seems to comeback to how important the middle part is. There’s a beginning and end to it all, but what happens in between is what matters. Even as we’re dreaming ahead, the middle part is where the real growth happens.
And that “middle part” is the hardest, most awkward place. There’s no definite point to distinguish besides, “I’m somewhere.” Where exactly? Great question.
You’re on the cusp of getting to your destination, but it’s still a few miles away. You’re itching for a change, but the steps to take in making that all happen are fuzzy. The vision is at the forefront of your mind, but everything feels stuck in this moment.
Are we wrong to be daydreaming, longing for what can be? All the ways we might flourish…whenever the time arises? The answer isn’t as simple as we’d like.
A hundred-and-one existential crises later…
When I use “we,” I truly include myself into this group of future-thinkers. While I know it’s a dangerous mindset to dwell in, I cannot help but sigh in contentment over a future home, in a future place, doing a future job, and just living at peace. What I’m seeking isn’t extravagant, but it’s stable.
My whole life has felt like I’m constantly sitting on a spinning top. Whenever I lean in one direction that seems like a good fit at the time, the whole thing comes crashing down. Luckily, I’ve got ideas galore. But every plan I’ve tried making has never seemed to work. Most times, it’s ended in complete failure. Then I start from scratch again and get myself spinning.
I use the example of careers and goal-setting, but the same experiences have occurred in other ways, too. Mental health and all its twists and turns make for quite a wild ride. With each sunrise, what mood I’m in can rise and fall like a mischievous riptide. How anxious or depressed I am, how I feel about my body, is unpredictable.
For example, I’ve felt like my body image has been improving with incorporating yoga into my life. And yet I still get the voice in my head fearing external change and growth. Drawing conclusions about all the unrealistic“damage” it could cause. Body dysmorphia and anorexia are fickle foes. Just when you’ve felt like the demons are dead, they keep on keeping on. So, the question remains: have I made any progress,or is it a façade?
Where you’re meant to be.
Depression thrives in the past. Anxiety thrives in the future. In this present moment, the only time within our grasps, we’re alive. We’re safe, worthy, and loved. We can turn our attentions in other directions, but they’re distractions draining our spirits of valuable energy.
If we’re too busy reliving the past or envisioning the future, this precious gift passes by without proper acknowledgement and gratitude. The blinders are on, and you neglect all the beauty right in front of your face. It’s a constant fog of thoughts, we lose sight of our authentic selves in the process.
The time will come when we’re pursuing new opportunities, but where are you now? What is this place? Who are these people you’re connecting with? How are you currently living and making the most of all that’s in your hands? If those hands are gripping onto moments gone by, or moments simply imagined, regret will seep into the cracks. As will doubt, confusion, worry, and plenty of stress.
Just think of how you’ve arrived to where you are. Remember all those mountains you’ve climbed, the challenges you’ve faced head-on and overcome? The demons you continue to fight off and yet still find every way to thrive? Those memories were all the present moment at one point. They each pounced on you, and despite the pitfalls, here you are now, the strongest and wisest you’ve ever been.
And there’s still more growth to come! You’re hopefully not predicting the next mistakes you’ll make and the obstacles you’ll face. But you know they’ll be there. What’s meant to be, will. Let it come to you, the light and the dark. Focus on what is here for you to experience.
A dreamer living in the now.
Everything that is to come for you—a bountiful collection of beauty and passion—will not happen without laying down your foundation now. You’ll never climb up the steps if you’re too busy looking at the top without moving. Don’t exist in limbo.
Ever wonder why children don’t have existential crises? They’re only living in the now. Sure, they’re still conjuring up fantasies and imagining all that might be, but they still return in time for supper. Call it naivety or innocence, but that childlike wonder toward life is an alignment of heart and mind. It’s a glorious embrace of presence.
If you relate to my repetitious panic over what purpose I serve and how I can fathom shifting dreams into plans, here’s my message for you: pause. All is well. God has planted you here for a reason. Don’t wander somewhere He hasn’t already led you to. Everything will work out as it should. If our thoughts of the future were dictating our paths, there’d be no use for trust or faith.
Still allow yourself to dream, but you shouldn’t live there. These dreams are glimmers of what the Spirit is weaving into your story. They might happen; they might not. It’s predicting what happens next in the story when you haven’t yet turned the page, falling down endless rabbit holes of theories.
Allow the universe to work itself out. You need not worry about what’s out of your control. Be here, be now.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie