Try as we might, we’re all terrible at predicting outcomes and relationship predictions in our lives–but we keep doing it.
The problem is that we somehow think this will keep us safe, prepared for the worst or solve some problem in a backwards way but all it does is create anxiety and can certainly harm our relationships.
We do far too much negative futurizing for our own good and here’s a quick example of how this played out for me during the 2020 pandemic…
At the beginning of March, my youngest grandson left for Munich, Germany for a Study-Abroad program and I feared the worst.
Covid-19 hit Germany about that time, and within a few days, his program that was supposed to run until the end of July was cancelled and he was trying to get home.
During that 3 day period–from the time he started trying to book a flight out of Germany and the time my daughter and son-in-law picked him up at O’Hare, I predicted the worse in my mind.
My stories ranged from…
–He wouldn’t get out in time and would have to stay in Germany throughout the pandemic, knowing no one
–He’d have to wait in a line for many hours to go through customs at the airport in Chicago and would be crammed together with sick people
–He’d catch the virus and be really sick or worse
–I’d never see him again
I predicted awful things and although I kept it all to myself, I knew that I was predicting a scary future.
But actually, none of my “predictions” came true.
I realize that not everyone was as lucky as my family when it came to getting home safely in a record amount of time from a foreign destination Corona-free.
We were lucky but I also realize that I didn’t have to predict a scary future or ANY future, even in my mind, that kept me agitated and in a state of anxiety for days.
Now my relationships with my family didn’t suffer because of this (although I did text my daughter frequently during this time)…
And certainly some of my relationships have suffered in the past because my “predictions” about someone’s motivations or what awful thing could happen in the future have led me to distance myself from them and worse.
Recently, I had a friend comment that this is a normal and natural thing we humans do.
Yes, predicting and fearing the worst certainly does seem to be our human default, especially during this very contentious election and continued upswing of Covid cases.
But when you see the toll this constant negativity and anxiety takes on you and those who are important to you…
You see that holding onto these stories is optional and you do have a choice.
Just simply becoming aware when you get into negative futurizing or fearful thinking is the first step to more peace and love in your life.
As you see where your mind has gone, often without a shred of evidence, you can make the choice to see the truth.
You can see what’s true and what’s all made up.
As your thinking then clears up, you’re able to listen better, find out more and problems seem to solve themselves.
You can start to trust that life has a way of working out…
That things don’t have to go a certain way in order for life to be OK or hold onto fear that they won’t go the way you really want them to go.
In the case of my grandson and my fear around him getting home safely…
The truth is there wasn’t anything I could do.
Even if I could have done something to help, my anxiety would have gotten in the way of clear thinking and problem-solving.
So how about you?
Can you see how your scary relationship predictions about someone or the future keep love and peace away?
Can you see how your thinking clears up when you allow your thoughts and stories to settle?
Can you see how there’s more love inside you and for others and for yourself when this happens?