Stepping outside of the current reality is as puzzling as mental challenges go. At first thought, it seems to counter the highly suggested concept of being totally present in the moment. But then again, the only present moment that exists is stillness in awareness and anything that broadens that mind space serves to expand our world, does it not? What if we made more use of looking back to look forward? But in the sense that we’re looking back from the future, from where we are right now.
Technically, most relationships aren’t going to work out, but the way we bemuse their endings and refuse to let go you’d think we got a single chance at love. We torture ourselves in this way, assuming there’s a single right way to do things even though we’re not in any position to demand what that way is.
We can look back on our first loves and understand why it didn’t work because that’s much easier. Perhaps we even feel confident that we wouldn’t have wanted it to, despite what our heart said back then. Even if there’s still pain involved it’s possible to see lesson and purpose from the current reality. We might even feel grateful for that person and that experience. If we had known that then, it might have felt different.
So what’s different now, in this more recent heartbreak? In the unsettledness of this current relationship, or the sometimes amusingly sore sensation of unrequited love?
The real pain comes from the refusal to shift into the retrospect phase, doesn’t it? That’s where we tend to find the acceptance that we need now. Time tends to bring along perspective and clarity because it just has to. People move on, time moves on even faster. We can’t really know anything now besides that later on it will make sense, in some sense.
What if instead of spending too much time trying to figure out why something isn’t working we just honored ourselves the wizened freedom of simply understanding that it will. Feel the order amidst the chaos. Keep our judgments gentle. What if our future selves could cradle us here, tell us that we’re divinely beautiful, demonstrate amusement over the fact that we think too much. Remind us that we’re going somewhere else and promise us that it all means something. If there’s anyone we can trust, it’s her.
The intention is not to remove the depths of our experience or our emotions - we need those. Those are what shape us into who we become in that future place. That future her who knows better. But maybe we can commit to softening the edges with the knowing that we’re capable of giving ourselves the support that we need as we navigate through it all. The support that we keep seeking from other people. The love that we think we need to conceptualize the belief that we’re lovable enough to actually be loved.
There’s freedom there and freedom is for the taking. What if we took it?
About the author: Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of genres. Her experience spans blogging, creative writing, screenwriting, and journalism for both online and print magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Find her on social media @KateFerg.