Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Importance of an 'Empty Future'

The Importance of an Empty Future

by AMY on APRIL 12, 2012
What’s in your future? Hopefully, not much.
When your future is empty—as in wide open, blue ocean, blank slate—you’re sitting pretty to put whatever you want there.
Most of us do not have an empty future.Most of us have a jam-packed future. Do you know what it’s full of?
The past.
We drag all sorts of stuff around with us everywhere we go. Like a big ‘ole ball and chain.
We drag around stories that we made up (and forgot that we made up).
We drag around rigid beliefs that limit our possibilities and don’t benefit us.
We drag around judgments that reflect us much more than they reflect reality.
We drag around pain. And from the pain we invent and drag around methods for protecting ourselves from more pain. Except our methods rarely work the way we want them to.
We drag all of this stuff from the past—and much more, actually—everywhere we go. Into the present. Into our relationships, careers, and hobbies. And into the future.   
If we’re not careful, the past becomes the basis for all of our future plans. It shapes our future vision (if we even have a future vision. When we believe the future is just going to be more of the past, why dream?).
The past severely limits what is possible for the future because the future is no longer wide open, blue ocean, blank slate. It’s “this is just who I am….” And “that happened when I was six….” And “things like that don’t work out for me…”
Isn’t that kind of backwards? The past is done and over and unless you’re constantly reminding yourself of it and dragging it around with you, it has no place in the future. How could it?
So how do you keep the future nice and empty so you’re free to create whatever you want there?
Leave the disempowering parts of the past behind you. This doesn’t have to be difficult; just notice the content of your thinking enough to recognize when you’re replying something that is o-v-e-r.
Or when you’re telling a story that hurts.
Or reciting your “this is just who I am….”, “that happened when I was six….”, “things like that don’t work out for me…”
Choose to let that go. It’s heavy and it’s been weighing you down.
In your mind’s eye, see the future as wide open. I literally picture a huge open space, completely void and empty, stretched out as far as the (imaginary) eye can see. 
Then choose what you want to put there. Remember that you need not bring anything from the past along—everything you need will be available to you when you need it.
You get to paint this picture on a clean canvas.

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