I meet a lot of people in my practice who are dealing with depression. When I ask them about their future, they say almost universally they can’t see a future or the future is "just a blank."
I have found that the single most important thing I can do in helping someone overcome depression is to help them create a brightness of their future. If they have a future, the depression seems to lift.
The movie, "The Secret," has sparked a renewed interest in manifesting the future, or co-creating it with God. Creating the future is not a new notion. Recall the goal-setting craze of 25 years ago. Setting goals still works to create the future. But now we understand more about how the process works.
At Christmas of 1979 with my leg up following surgery, I had a lot of time to think about my future, so I decided to set some goals.
With pen and paper in hand I wrote down a bunch of things I might like. I allowed myself to be fanciful and included things that were totally unrealistic. I ignored the fact that I was about to leave my job, move 500km and go back to school.
I edited my list down to ten goals, including such ridiculous things as owning and flying my own airplane and "living with my family in a contemplative setting overlooking the ocean." I don’t know why I wrote down the latter, because I had only ever seen an ocean a few times, and there certainly wasn’t an ocean in Southern Ontario where I had lived all my life.
I read my list out loud twice every day, just as the wisdom of those days said to do. I recited my goals religiously for about a month before I lost interest, and then lost the list. Oh well!
Sixteen years later I came across the old list in a binder. Amazingly, six of the ten things on the list had already happened. I had owned a couple of airplanes and had flown coast to coast. I was living with my wife of fifteen years in our peaceful home overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
How could this be? I lost interest in the list after a month, but the majority of my goals manifested anyway.
A few years later I would understand why.
The steps in creating your future are as follows
1. Decide on what you want. What you want will be a lot clearer if you decide first what you don’t want (This was my goal setting.)
2. Adopt the view that anything is possible, no matter how unlikely. This will probably involve clearing or setting aside limiting beliefs. (I did this by allowing myself to be fanciful and playful with my goals.)
3. In your imagination, try to feel what it would be like to be in the future you envision.
4. Allow it to come about. In other words, let go. The step of letting go is crucial, but often difficult for us make-it-happen types.
When I set those goals over 25 years ago, we didn’t understand Step 4. But when I had lost interest in and stopped reciting my list of goals over 25 years ago, I had inadvertently practiced Step 4. I had let go. I had unconsciously turned it over to the universe. I had given it to God. The language of allowing doesn’t matter. What matters is that the process works.
So what kind of future will you dare to create for yourself?