Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back to the Future

© Stefaanh./
Last week, I did something I’ve never done before in my life: I went for a session with a psychic. Now, I could tell you all about what she revealed to me; it was quite fascinating and certainly nothing I expected, but this occasion was important to me not because of what the soothsayer said, but because I actually wasn’t afraid to hear it. I looked into the future and felt no fear.
            In the past, psychics, mediums, channelers, fortunetellers and the like scared me to pieces. Was I afraid of their dark tents that smelled of incense, or of their rather seedy looking digs along a certain New Jersey highway? Was it their chalky make-up, their crystal balls, or their tarot cards? No, what scared me most about psychics and their ilk was what they might say about my future. I simply didn’t want to know. What if there was something horrible waiting around the bend? What if they looked at my palm and saw a telltale line? What if they looked into my eyes and read my most secret thoughts? What if…what if?
            Long ago, when my children were little I wrote a scene in one of my stories about a day I could see in my future. I described how my children had grown; how they now had size ten feet, and gruff voices, how they bantered about Dante, politics, and football, how they could eat several pizzas in one sitting or knock off a gallon of milk. This vision of my future terrified me (and not only because my hair, in this vision, was decidedly graying). What terrified me was my loss of self, the loss of the woman and mother I thought I wanted to always be, the mother of three young boys who drove me nuts but were lots of fun, little boys who needed to be read stories, needed rides to cub scouts, or help with their homework. Little boys I could scoop up into my arms (not who could lift me off the floor!)
            But now that I’m living that scene I realize that there was nothing to be afraid of. My older kids are hilarious, intellectually stimulating, and quite helpful (especially when my computer is down). Yeah, my hair is starting to gray, but I’m actually healthier mentally and physically than I was a decade ago. I love little kids, but truth be known, the big kids tell better jokes, get the jokes I tell, and thankfully know how to bathe, feed themselves, and drive. The terrible future I so feared is here now, and it’s, as we used to say back in the day, “quite a trip,” and in a good way.
            I’m in no hurry to get to the future, but it doesn’t scare me any more, and that’s why I could look that psychic in the eye and say, “What do you see?” I now am of the belief that anything that’s in my personal crystal ball (and in yours) is there for a reason. The things we fear the most (like having our children grow up) may bring unforeseen blessings. The scary things our minds make up are probably never going to happen (and even if they do, they will come with some lessons we need to learn).
View the future as a miracle instead of a potentially hazardous unknown, and fear will vanish. Like the wise man said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

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