The title of this post isn’t really to my credit. It is something that one of my clients brought to session, a paraphrase of something one of their friends said. But it really struck a chord with me. Let’s look at it again:
Live as though it will be okay.–Unknown
I think the reason this struck me so forcibly is that it seems as though many of us spend a great deal of our time doing precisely the opposite of what is suggested. We live as though the next disaster is bearing down on us like a freight train (or, if you live in the Midwest, like a tornado). Does this fit for you? Let’s look at a few quick questions:
- Do you avoid doing things that you would enjoy because something might go wrong?
- Have you ever missed an opportunity because you were so focused on how you might mess it up?
- Do you find yourself just waiting for the next disaster?
- Have there been moments when you were so focused on managing a crisis that hasn’t happened yet that you missed out on some of your own life?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you might be living as though it won’t be okay. And there are lots of reasons that we get to that space. Maybe you’ve been through a series of really difficult experiences. Maybe you’re living with a lot of pain, or medical challenge.
If that feels true for you, you aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong. You’re responding in a way that makes some degree of sense, given the circumstances.
But let me ask you a question. If you think about the hardest thing you have been through, was there any amount of worry or preparation ahead of time that could have changed that event? For most of us, the answer is no. The hardest things that I’ve been through were things that I couldn’t plan for, couldn’t prevent, and couldn’t fix. I just had to live through them.
This is my bias: If my energy, effort and time aren’t going to prevent the hard things in life, I choose to invest them in my hope for the future.
There isn’t anything magic about this. I am going to have difficult times again. My heart will break again. But I’m not going to give up today’s joy to try to dodge tomorrow’s sorrow.
And I’m inviting you to come along with me. What would be different in your life today if you chose to live as thought it will be okay? What would you do? What would you try? Wanna find out? I do!
Please share your experiments in the comments. And, as always, if you need help with this project, you know where to find me.