At times like this, where a global pandemic is rampant, we are confronted with doubt and even a pang of desperation for the present situation. Almost every aspect of our lives are affected in some way. It’s normal for us to feel uncertain about what’s awaiting us. It’s much easier, at the same time, for us to let this uncertainty loom over whatever little things that we can still stay hopeful for about the present, however much harder for us to spot them.
Turning this uncertainty into a more hopeful perspective is of course never a straightforward task, though I see it applies on a personal level as well. To get my point across, I want to share my personal journey of how I came to the realisation that I need to live the present whilst staying hopeful about the future even with the global pandemic situation happening.
As someone who easily gets anxious, I’ve been dealing with intense uncertainty of what’s going to happen, to a point where the concept of the future to me is more fearful than hopeful.
“These thoughts were unproductive and, when accumulated, quite energy-draining as they became voices that fed on my self-doubt and anxiety.”
When, say, I “messed up”, I mean perhaps saying the wrong word in a conversation, making a confusing gesture in a social occasion, using the wrong tone etc. These “mistakes” will then scar me for life as they suddenly appear in my mind and haunt me in the most unexpected and random moments – showering, reading, right before I’m about to fall asleep – you name it.
I would cringe at the moments where I effed things up. Gosh, it was so stupid for me to say that…what was I thinking? These thoughts were unproductive and, when accumulated, quite energy-draining as they became voices that fed on my self-doubt and anxiety.
I would conjure up imagined scenarios where things went the way I wanted to them to – I would make a good first impression on the stranger I just met or crush the interview for the internship that I so wanted, except I was well aware that all these didn’t happen in real life.
Overtime, I grew fettered by the very thought of making the same “mistake” again and disappointing myself. This uncertainty became the barrier that caused me to miss what was before me.
This was part of the reason why I turned to meditation for help. Yep, my once-enemy but my now-therapist. In addition, I did more of a meditative practice: the 5 senses exercise. The name itself is pretty self-explanatory. I usually start with sight, what colors do I see? What textures? Then, I move to hearing, scent, taste, and then touch. By engaging with my five senses, I’ve been able to stay more grounded to my present environment.