If you're prone to anxiety, your mind will attach onto anything tangible as a way to avoid the incredibly painful and scary core feelings of vulnerability that coincide with the risk of loss. When you're obsessing on the future-based "what-if" thoughts, you're able to distract from the rawness of the moment and the almost unbearable awareness that, by opening yourself to love you're also opening yourself to the risk of loss and, thus, heartbreak. There is no greater risk, and people will go to great lengths to avoid this vulnerability either through staying single, staying busy, or becoming trapped in the anxious mind. Engaged & Terrified: What Your Fear Is All About
As I often see with my clients, transitions are particularly tumultuous, shape-shifting, and unsettling times when you're sense of feeling out of control and groundless are amplified. The natural human tendency is to say, "I'll be happy when … [this move is over; I'm settled into my new job; etc]," but that thought is a trap. There will always, always be another transition just around the next bend. And even if we're not enduring a major life transition like getting married or having a baby, life itself is transition, a fundamentally unstable existence where the only permanency is change itself. Oprah Says, “Doubt Means Don’t”…Or Does She?
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I'll say it again: life is uncertainty. Life is change. There are islands of calm and certainty scattered throughout the ocean, but for the anxious mind the challenge is to learn how to find serenity even during the storm. It's not easy. Some would say it's the greatest spiritual challenge you can undertake because it really boils down to learning how to embrace this moment, whatever it is. It’s about learning how train your mind to accept this moment even when things are hard.
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In the end, it's about recognizing, over and over and over again, where we have control and where we don't. We can't control the future. We can't control the outcome of most events in our lives. We can, however, control how we choose to respond to the fear-based what-if thoughts that descend on our minds like an avalanche and try to pull us away from this moment, right here, right now.