Recently I asked some friends, “What is missing most from your life right now?” It’s 2020, these are difficult times. We’re experiencing a serious sense of distress at every turn: of personal health, human connection, justice and political turmoil. Many of us are doing everything at home: working, distance learning, volunteering, running a household. Some of the answers I received were expected. Travel, live shows, going to the movie theater, spending time with friends and family, parties, hugs. Yes, yes and yes. But one answer really took me by surprise for how accurately it captured the sense of unknown of the current times:
I miss having the ability to plan for the future.
None of us know what the future holds. We don’t have a crystal ball, sure. But this is different. If our kids are at home, we don’t know if, or when, the schools will actually open up for in-person learning. If they’re in school, we don’t know if they will be sent back home one day without warning. We don’t know when it will be safe to go out without a mask again, to hug our friends again, if, or when, there will be a vaccine. We don’t even know what’s going to happen in the Presidential election. Seriously, I have some friends who have been “prepping” for major civil unrest and community upheaval, regardless of which candidate wins. Like, we’re talking this level of uncertainty and this near term. We’re feeling our way through the dark.
So, how do you plan for the future when the future is one big blurry question mark?
I recommend you find something to look forward to, a goal to work towards. I can’t tell you that everything is going to be ok. But I can tell you that taking some kind of action that will set you up for a good future will still be worth it.
We all need something to look forward to, something to live for.
That something is your purpose.
Tap into your purpose now when you need it most and let it be what carries you through this difficult time.
Earlier, I wrote about one reason why I’m actually happier this year than I was last year, even though #2020sucks (let’s be real). The second reason is that I’ve had a big project I’ve been working on that has literally felt like a lifeline. It’s like I’m in a cable car ride in an amusement park. I’m still there at the park. I can see everything happening below me. But there’s a powerful electrical line carrying my car through into the distance.
The one thing I was feeling was missing in my life was hope for the future. Having something to work toward and strive for is what has been giving me that hope. What I’m trying to say, is that even in these dark times, all is not lost.
What’s the one thing that you are missing most in your life right now? What’s one way you can get that same feeling that it gives you? After all, its the feeling you’re after, not the thing itself.
Guaranteed, there is another way to get that feeling, or some similar, perhaps adjacent, feeling. Allow yourself to explore with curiosity.
- What are you missing most?
- What is the feeling that person/place/thing/activity gives you?
- List three realistic alternative ways you could get that feeling or something similar.
See if that helps you, even a little bit, because every little bit is worth doing to get through right now. If you want some help talking it through, feel free to reach out. Starting next week, I’m offering some FREE mini group coaching sessions so if you feel like you want to learn some tools for integrating mindfulness in your life that you can use to reduce stress and anxiety right now, join me!
Sending a great big virtual hug to you.