Will your future self be a success or failure, healthy or sick, happy or sad? We spend a lot of our time thinking, worrying and speculating about the future but I find that one way to cut through that preoccupation is to wish my future self well whatever happens.
After all, as I point out in my new book Kindfulness, you don’t have total control over how your future will work out. Life is full of random events that can get in the way. We don’t know what’s going to happen with our health, the economy, the political situation to name a few.
What I can do, though, is to wish my future self well in whatever circumstances I find myself. I think this practice can give us a certain assurance, as the future turns into the present, that we will be our own friends whether things turn out well or badly.
One way to do this is to generate a feeling of goodwill towards a friend or someone you love, perhaps wishing them well with words like ‘Be happy, be safe, be well.’ Then let that image fade and bring that feeling of goodwill to your future self, again using words like ‘Be happy, be safe, be well.’
Allow yourself to continue to experience that feeling of goodwill and well wishing for a few moments before bringing the practice to a close.
By the way, the future in question doesn’t have to be years away. It can be tomorrow, next week, next month: it’s all the future. Self-compassion for that future is a gift you can give yourself right now.
Kindfulness – be a true friend to yourself with mindful self-compassion, is published by Yellow Kite Books on 28th June 2018