Do you ever find yourself worrying excessively about or living in a future or past so distant, that it drifts you away from your current reality? If yes, then you may be a victim of the syndrome that I call ‘Imaginary Chip On Shoulder Syndrome’.
Victims of this syndrome take on various ‘imaginary’ future responsibilities or past mistakes upon themselves. So much so that it starts to pull them away from their current reality. In my case, the chip was the responsibility of my unborn – future – kids!
I’m not married, I’m not pregnant & I have no plans of having/adopting kids in near future. However, unknowingly, I have always lived with the image that one day I’m gonna have to raise kids. I assumed that I’d have to be solely responsible for them. I assumed that since one day I’m gonna be a mother, I better start acting like it now. The next thing I know, I’m a mother – figure everywhere! I am caring, protective, disciplinary, responsible (for everyone else too), nurturing and loving. I am altering my lifestyle to be like a ‘good possible – mother’. My career decisions start to revolve around the welfare of my future kids!
However, it was a very subtle process at a subconscious level & I was not aware of it. Years later, while discussing a career goal with a friend, I finally heard myself talking: “But if I don’t earn ‘X’ amount of money then how am I gonna run a family!?”. It hit me. Which family was I concerned about? A family which I may never even start? A family which is several years away from my present? I was totally living in the future!
Although the syndrome had its pros along with cons but I believe that once we realise the cons of anything, we must take steps to outsmart them. I like the loving n caring person I became in this process but it didn’t mean that I couldn’t let myself loose in my 20’s! It didn’t mean that I had to waste my today preparing for tomorrow..A fairly distant tomorrow!
So here’s what dawned upon me few months after that conversation while sipping my morning green tea: It’s essential to be aware of where you come from & to have a vision of where you are going. But it’s quintessential to live in the NOW.
I’m independent today, I don’t have the responsibilities I’ll have 5 years down the lane. The present gives me an advantage to take risks, to make mistakes, to test my limits, to experiment, to discover, to fail, to cry, & to be free in its truest sense! And I had been ignoring all that, worrying about what lay next.
If you too find yourself subconsciously worried of or living in a distant future or past, please take a moment and look around. What you see right next to you is all what you really have..& that too is not going to be around for long!
Sir Winston Churchill said, ” It is a mistake to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time”. So I’m taking the plunge to act in the now, live in the moment, be fully mindful, have a clear image of what really IS & what needs to be created & thereby tip-toe towards a more fulfilling tomorrow. Will you join me?