Presumption can be majorly detrimental to your health.
What am I talking about? I think it’s pretty safe to say that everyone, at one time or another, has stumbled across something that caused them to make a presumption about the future. For example, you find an unwrapped present your loved one acquired, or a letter that’s not addressed with either good news or bad news, or you find a job listing from your own company that looks suspiciously like your job.
All of these will lead to presumptions. Some are good – like excitement for receipt of the gift, anticipation of that good news, presuming you are going to be getting a promotion. On the other side of the same coin, however, is the bad – like thinking that that gift is for someone else, anticipation of the bad news, or wondering if you are going to be fired from the job.
Meanwhile, you are thinking about the future, rather than focusing on the now. Sure, if might be a good future you are looking at, but it’s still looking ahead. If, however, you are looking to a negative future, in the here-and-now you may find yourself experiencing disquiet, anxiety, nervousness, short-temper and all kinds of less-than-productive emotions.
Lao Tzu is credited with saying, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. “ I recognize that this is a massive over-simplification, but it is none-the-less significant, in especial the notion of being at peace, living in the present.
I frequently write about consciousness creating reality. I also frequently explore that in order to make anything manifest, you have to not only give it a great deal of pure focus and thought, feeling and inspired action, but you need to see it as being in the present. So long as you see it in the future, it will stay in the future, always out-of-reach, always ahead at an unknown time and place.
This is where presumption can be detrimental to your health. If you are presuming something good is coming, if for some reason it does not go as you expected, you will find yourself having to deal with the let-down. If you are presuming something bad is coming, your anxiety and uncertainty related to that may make it worse than it will be. Further, by giving it focus and attention, odds are you will help to manifest it coming into being.
Yes, it’s important to acknowledge that you cannot effect the actions of others. You cannot influence your loved one to give that gift to you if its intended for another, you can’t stop the letter from being sent, and you can’t control if your boss has decided to fire you. All you can do is what is right by and for you, and strive to be at peace in the now.
Living in the here-and-now is not always easy. I find myself constantly striving to keep ahold of my focus, and to keep my mindset on the present as much as possible. This is why I began the awareness questions with Pathwalking in Practice. Every time I ask myself How Am I? What am I thinking? and How am I feeling? I immediately pull myself into the present. Instant awareness in question and answer form. As I am striving to manifest what I want in the here-and-now, and to stop seeing it ahead of myself, I am also asking, Am I thinking about things ahead of me, or in the now? I am working on writing out the answers to these questions two to four times a day, as I strive to shift my mindset for my own self-improvement.
Society is particularly fond of looking backwards and forwards, and when they do look at the now it’s often with an eye to a quick-fix for something or various troubles rather than positives. Often we make our presumptions about the future based on the past, which can also be detrimental to our health. If every time you submit a query letter to an agent and get nothing but form-letter rejections, what do you presume will happen with the next query you submit? Again, not healthy.
How do we combat the effects of presumption? I honestly don’t know, but I have some ideas I am working with to do precisely this. Primarily, I am working on trying to accept that what will be will be, and that I can only work and live in the now. So, rather than fret about what may lie ahead, I am working in the here-and-now to do my best, be my best, and to live each day with purpose and positivity. Easier said than done, but it is a work in progress.
When it comes to anticipation of something bad, I am striving not to focus on the possibility, and instead try to find a positive. To borrow from Jen Sincero, author of You Are A Badass, I am striving to look at a negative presumption with the idea of exploring “this is good because”. If the thing I do not want comes to pass, rather than focus on all its possible negativity, I am looking to find the positive. “I do not want that thing to happen, but if it does, it is good because it will change my path for the better.” Again, yes this can be a struggle, but wouldn’t you rather see silver linings than the clouds?
My goal is to better live in the here-and-now, and not allow presumptions of possible futures based on limited information have me feeling bad. Rather than make presumptions, in particular negative presumptions, and in the process make myself anxious, sick-to-my-stomach and unhappy, I want to be at peace in the here-and-now.
How do you handle the effects of presumption?
This is the two-hundred sixty-ninth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.