That phrase really rubs me the wrong way, and today I started thinking about why.
It’s because it implies that we aren’t enough as we are, where we are, but that we need to constantly strive for something more. I’m not saying to let go of your goals and dreams. I’m not saying that you can’t have a vision for your life. But I do believe that in this idea of “building a future”, we become so focused on what’s to come that we tend to forget to appreciate what’s right here and now.
Living entirely in the future is dangerous, because even if it finally comes … you won’t be there in it. If you aren’t present in the moment now, why would you be present within your future when it arrives? Most likely, this dream future of yours won’t happen anyway. When you are in the habit of always striving for more, you will never be satisfied with what you have … even when you get everything you thought you wanted. There is no end game in a quest for the pot of gold.
So what if you can let go of the idea of “building a life” and lean into the idea that the life you have right now is pretty precious and amazing, just the way it is? Notice if you are working towards your goals for the right reasons, or doing so because you feel like having X,Y and Z will magically make you happier and more worthy. Because it won’t. You’ll never find peace and joy that way, so might as well stop trying now.
Unless you can learn to accept and love yourself for who you are, as you are, right now, this future you dream of doesn’t really matter. Nothing changes until you shift your inner perspective. That’s why the most important work any of us can do is the work that helps us transform ourselves from the inside out. The other shit, the external shit, follows. Unfortunately, we have a tough time trusting this. Our brains want to tell us differently, attempting to keep us safe by holding us stuck in the same old patterns. And when we don’t trust it, when we aren’t willing to make a leap, we can never find out what’s on the other side of that shift.
So no, I don’t want to “build” a life. I want to rise from the ashes of my past and look towards the future with hope while standing with my feet firmly planted in the current moment. I want to grow and evolve naturally while listening to my intuition and where it sends me. That seems more like building a life to me than having a 5-year plan that I can’t stick to anyway because I have no idea what the universe will bring me that far into the future.
I understand the human desire to feel like there’s some sort of order and security in the world, but there isn’t. That kind of security only comes when we build it within ourselves. It doesn’t live outside of us. When you develop it within, you can handle whatever unpredictability life brings. So if you’re set on building a future, do it by building yourself up to be strong, confident and sure of who you are.
Let go of the idea of building a life and instead work on cracking open into the person you are meant to be. That’s where your real future lies. You are powerful. You can heal yourself and learn to love and trust yourself. Go slow. Gentle gentle.