Future date syndrome
I’ll be complete when…
How many times today have you said to yourself in some overt or subtle way “I’ll be complete (or substitute the word can relax or be ok) when I achieve/do/finish xyz?” Many of us have what I call the “future date syndrome.” What this means is that when you accomplish or check off your external or internal to do list then you can actual stop and enjoy your life. This way of thinking and being effects pretty much everything in your life from your day to day presence to who and where you feel you are at on your spiritual growth path.
I want to be clear that the “to do” list is not the problem. There will always be things to do, achieve, and finish and new ways to grow. Instead what I am pointing to is what your relationship is to yourself within what must be done and the underlying sense of lack that pervades and destroys your ability to show up and be presence.
Take a moment and think about something that you desire to achieve today. Maybe its as simple as going to the grocery store and picking your daughter up from dance class. Its on your internal/external list. It must be done or else “shit falls apart”, right? People don’t eat, kids don’t get what they need, etc. Now lets say that those are the only 2 things on your list. Seems achievable for most people, but what if there are 6 other things on your list. Now how do you feel? The pressure starts to build. You start to wonder how you can do it all. Its a lot. You begin to perceive a lack of time (or perhaps lack of ability to get it all done) and this lack starts to run you. You start to feel anxious, restless, frantic or what most people label as stressed. You have now officially lost presence, which means you are not conscious anymore. You are on automatic pilot just trying to get through it so you can be done. This unfortunately is not living. This is being a machine and does not lead to the well-being that most of us desire.
Another way to define the word stress is a feeling of lack. Lack of energy, time, resources, abilities, skills, money, access, etc. Lack appears to motivate us as humans. When we see or feel that we don’t have enough of something (or are not enough as person) it drives us to do shit. But lack does not need to be our primary motivation, in fact, when it is no longer our primary motivation is exactly when we begin to enjoy ourselves and our life.
So if lack does not drive us then what does? What would it be like to be rested in total abundance (what most would describe as heaven on earth) and do from there? What if you never worried again that you would not be ok or things that needed to be done wouldn’t get done? What if you could navigate your life relaxed instead of tense? What if you learned and grew spiritually from an “I’m enough” place inside yourself instead of not enoughness? All of this is absolutely a possible reality but it takes awareness of yourself to get there.
Recognizing where these stress/lack/not present pattens are running in your life is the first step. Not just the recognition that you are stressed, but the bigger recognition of how you are relating to your life and what you are believing to be true that is creating the feelings that you are feeling inside. You must start to destabilize your belief structures so that new possibilities can enter your awareness. Sometimes we are very attached our lack beliefs and we will defend them to no end. We will refuse to see that anything could be any other way. We believe so strongly that it must be done the way it is and that we must continue to engage in the ways we engage and there are no other options. Realize this as a part of you that is scared and doesn’t yet know another way and its ok. Even just your capacity to see it as a part of you and not as all of you will begin to open your awareness to new possibilities.
When you realize that you have already arrived and you stop waiting for yourself to arrive based on how much you have accomplished in a day or where you are on your life path presence prevails. Presence is synonymous with abundance. When you do life in presence, abundance and excitement is now motiving you instead of lack. This is something that is hard to describe purely with words and must be experienced to be “gotten” and understood. Start today by noticing when you start to feel stressed, pause and take a moment, notice what you are believing that is creating the stress for you. Just this simple act will begin to bring you into more and more presence so that instead of future day syndrome you can live present day.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado