Over the past several weeks, much of what I have focused on is designed to help face and overcome past traumas and losses, from giving space for creative flow in daily life, to meditation and mindfully overcoming trauma and the residual impacts of lingering anxieties, depression and emotional disruptions to life. Over the next several weeks I will be focusing on looking ahead, looking to the future. While the past may haunt and disrupt, and holds the scenes of some of our greatest heartaches, the future is bright and new and waiting. Waiting for our touch, and the inspired paths God has prepared for us to find and follow.
To begin that new story, I found some questions this week that I really love from the work of David Marsten, David Epston and Laurie Markham (page 12):
: If (trauma, betrayal, anxiety, depression….etc) had its way, what kind of future would it design for you?
: If the future that awaits you is based on your dreams rather than (trauma, betrayal, anxiety, depression)’s nightmares, what might it look like?
For many trauma survivors, especially when that trauma took place at the hands of someone we trusted and loved, taking our eyes off of the past and looking to the future can feel foolish and dangerous, like asking for a rock in the back of the head. But that is why I love these questions so much. They help us to see what a lie it is to hold on so tightly that we never look forward to what awaits, while at the same time honoring the painful lessons those hurts taught us. We can look to the future wisely, deeply, and with a broader perspective than what we first started out with.
So, if the future that awaits you is based on your dreams….what does that future hold? What kind of person do you become? What kind of life, family, career, dreams, wishes and hopes do you finally begin to fulfill and make real? What is waiting for you creative light to form, share and celebrate? And what is one small step you can take today to begin that ideal future?
Balancing what has been with what is not yet written is a new kind of gift we can give ourselves. A chance to really start anew.