Stop Depending On The Future To Bring You Happiness

We tend to diminish our reality by glamorizing the future. Why are we relentlessly unwilling to explore our suffering? Why do we mask our current misery with whimsical expectations of what’s to come?

I used to believe that the right person or situation would one day bring me happiness, thus exempting myself from blame for my discontent. I granted responsibility to delusional fantasies that merited my passivity. Sometimes, it was the valiant prince who emerged on his white horse, sweeping me off my unsteady feet and whisking me away to a lavish castle. Other times, it was the magical tree of fortune, shaking off hunks of prosperity that fell effortlessly into my lap.

I put my happiness in the hands of a future that ever-alluded my grasp. This eventually impelled me to question its validity: Does the future even exist? Or is it merely an escape from reality that we use to soften the blow of our present?

We cannot put a deadline on our happiness, just as we cannot put a price on it. Yet we still denote specific events as endpoints to our misery. Do we really expect the likes of a new job or completion of a crash diet to singularly disband our perpetual death march? Perhaps we know better, but we savor the comfort in the fables we tell ourselves. After all, white lies are not monopolized by friends with bad haircuts.

Why do we cherish uncertainty and neglect what is in front of us? We fixate on the promise of better days to combat our insufferable yearning to be anywhere but here and now. We foolishly expect to be indulged in these better days despite starving ourselves of fulfillment in our current days. We salivate at the prospect of tomorrow but scoff at the opportunity of today.

When we experience failure, we tend to coddle our bruised egos with esteemed visions of our future selves. We drift to an elusive world where we are bolder and mightier. We soothe our present sorrows with distorted fantasies of vindication. We expect progress without enduring the grueling process. We wait for the horse to bend down and hoist us back onto its back after we’ve fallen off of it, only solidifying our beds in a growing pile of manure.

Try as we may to escape reality, it always creeps back in like rays of sunlight obtruding the binds of a sleepless night. Prolonged avoidance of our truth is proportionate to a mindless existence of oblivion. We mustn’t wither into shells of ourselves by nourishing a figment of our expectations.

Clenching onto our future too firmly will knock the wind out of our present. We must choose to knock down barriers instead, invade emotional walls and uncover restored pieces of what we deemed broken.

I know how hard it can be to remain positive and motivated when you’re not where you want to be in life, but do not sell yourself short by succumbing to the weight of it. If we cannot find peace amongst the worst of our current days, we damn sure will not obtain it our future days. If we cannot love ourselves through the pits of Hell that scathe us, we will eternally be burnt by its ashes, even amid the most seemingly beautiful paradises we embark on. Our future can only begin when we presently accept, understand, and heal our wounds. We must always choose to be present in our reality, even on the days it splinters our souls—because ultimately, the only way to ensure our happiness is to endure the absence of it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author
I desperately want to live in an apocalyptic world. Follow Sarah on Instagram or read more articles from Sarah on Thought Catalog.

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