No anxious state exists apart from the illusion that the security, happiness, and wholeness you long for exists somewhere outside of you — “in a time to come.” Then why do we go on embracing anxious thoughts and feelings that do nothing but steal from us our love of life? The surprising answer to this question is the same as opening the door to a life free of anxious thoughts and feelings.
Whenever our mind imagines a pleasure — going somewhere exciting, envisioning a new relationship, or picturing ourselves more successful than we’ve been — something else comes to life within us at the same time; right alongside our newly imagined desire is born a feeling of anxiety. We’ve all sensed the presence of this disquieting state, even though we’re rarely conscious of it. At its outset, this fledgling anxiety remains largely unnoticed, and for good reason: Our mind’s eye, our attention, is completely centered on the pleasure we imagine will soon be ours.
Regardless of whatever we imagine — be this some new happiness or sense of wholeness — it isn’t real. If it were, we wouldn’t have to try and dream it into existence! A closer examination of what happens to us when we place our hopes in “a time to come” reveals how we hurt ourselves without knowing it… [to be continued]