How many times a day to you project how you will feel in the future. I know I do it! It is something I have to work hard not to do. For example, even after managing chronic pain for a long time I still project into the future on how I will feel on a certain day. It crossed my mind multiple times this week about Kayci’s first real Halloween. I kept thinking: I hope my pain level isn’t too high, I hope we have fun, I hope I do not have to fake being okay pain wise too much. Looking at this picture and looking back to yesterday I wasted all that time projecting and worrying about how I would feel. I had the best Halloween of my life. The difference between chronic pain and acute pain is that chronic pain does not go away, ever. So to say I was not in pain yesterday would be a complete lie. However, pain maybe crossed my mind three times. It was not the focus of yesterday by any means. Watching my daughter run from house to house so beyond confused as to what was going on but laughing and skipping anyways made my eyes fill with tears of happiness, not pain.
It is not only a reminder to people with our without chronic pain that there is truly no reason to project into the future but also a reminder of how well distractions work. I was having so much fun skipping and laughing with my daughter that I forgot I had chronic pain. Once again, what a waste of time and energy I used worrying and projecting into the future.
You do not have to have chronic pain to project into the future. Sadly, it seems most of us project in a negative way. For example, how many brides to be have you heard say: “I just hope it does not rain on my wedding day!” As if that can be avoided. Why spend time worrying about something that we have no control over. We do not have control over the weather or chronic pain we only have control over how we react to it. No wonder I hear and read so many times a day from yoga and meditation that we need to live in the moment. Projecting into the future ruins your present moment and in my opinion (proof is in this picture) our negative fears about the future rarely come true.