Start with now, the future comes later...
Updated: Oct 7, 2021
With constant thinking comes occasional Aha! moments. Today's reminder to self, and I'm sure I knew this previously but I 'connected' with the idea (again?) today rather than just hear or say it to myself and that makes a world of difference, is the following :
You will not reach your authentic self later if you are not accepting your current self now.
I feel I know what type of person and state of mind I want to be. I can 'envision' my authentic self because I have been it previously and I lost a lot of that over the last year, but as I am constantly keeping that in mind I'm not paying attention to anything now. Which comes to the old view that you can not be in the present if you are too busy living in the past or future. I didn't think I was doing this as I thought I had that version of me as a 'goal' and therefore I was on my way to it, but I feel I may have been craving that goal a little too much, and therefore not appreciating and/or dealing with what I am now. Having a goal in mind, but not paying any attention to where you are right now means you will not get to your goal.
I can start keeping both states in mind, the goal to where I want to be and where I am now. The goal helps in deciding on actions to get there but paying attention to now means I can see which options are available to me at the current point in time. Without that reference point you might just be stabbing in the dark and hoping the 'authentic self' comes to you, but the reality of it is that you have to make your way to it.
The other side is that if you live more in the present you can actually enjoy yourself more by connecting to the things around you more fully.
So that was the first realisation today, the second is ...
Sometimes you have to fight yourself to get outside your comfort zone.
In my case, 'happiness' may be outside my comfort zone now. I was checking in with myself and realising that every time I feel like I'm getting closer to a state of positivity I will always shrink back to dissociation or a depressed like state. Looking into the why of that regression, I feel it could be one of two things. My homeostasis, or base, state after more than a year in a kind of negative mindset has created that negativity as my new normal. I've survived this long, therefore it must be working, says my stupid brain. So any change to that state is considered out of my comfort zone and therefore must be returned to. Being aware of that means I can push against that instinctual return to negativity. I know it isn't 'helping' me at least on a conscious level, so I can start to override that thinking.
Your comfort zone is not necessarily 'comfortable', it's just where you can survive.
The only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone. I have found that you will be pulled back to your 'comfort zone', default state, or homeostasis, regardless of how actually comfortable it is. It could be the most terrible experience you can fathom, but that is your default state which has gotten you this far. And in a weird way, heading towards an unknown better place can be more terrifying than being in a known terrible place. And terrifying trumps terrible. Fighting that urge to return to your default state is a battle in itself.
The other option is that, after the last year, I may not feel safe being happy. I was happy, possibly the happiest I have been in my life. I feel that was lost, which hurt...a lot. So of course my brain is veering away from that state. I don't want to return to that pain again although to be honest it's probably inevitable. I just need to consider that I am better prepared for it next time.
Now that I am aware of these two, maybe simple but kind of crucial things, I can start implementing them in moving forward and being in a better mind state now as much as later.