I came across a great quote by an unknown author, “Worrying is like praying for what we don’t want.”
Yuck! Who wants to do that?
Are you “praying” for what you don’t want?
There is a reason worriers are called worrywarts: because worrying is a nasty ugly bump in your life. Worry makes things seem worse than they are. Worry is an ugly cousin of fear. Worry was my middle name a few years ago.
I worried about everything from what drink I should order at Starbucks to why my boss hadn’t said good morning. My entire life revolved around the tight knot clenched in my chest. I was anxious, scared and saturated in fear.
Fear is just our mind’s way of saying, “Whoa! Watch out! Danger ahead, uncomfortable things approaching.” Fear can actually help us make better choices. Fear is synonymous with the little voices in our heads. When we hear them we can choose to listen and believe them to be true or to say, “Thank you for your input, but I would like to not listen to you. Fear, please go away.”
Worry makes it harder for us to recognize what is driving our lives.
Many of us see things happening out in the world and we take it all in. Then, we worry about our safety or future, our “right now” becomes consumed with deprecating, fear-based thoughts.
One solution is to turn off the media. Our media spotlights fear-based reactionary stories: natural, financial and political disasters, violent crime, dismal forecasts and distressing exposés. The media is a huge contributor to our internal dialog. We refuse to let our children take the school bus because we fear the unknown pedophile who kidnapped a child five years ago.
We worry about potential people and what they might or might not do. Worry becomes the everyday vernacular. We stick together with our collective consciousness of worry. But what if there was another way to live? What if we removed worry from our lives and learned to embrace the unknown? What if worry became a signal of opportunity?
Instead of worrying about a situation, we can learn to embrace it and accept it fully.
Worrying about something doesn’t change anything except your current state. Worrying makes us feel separated, anxious and stressed, but if we shift away from this emotional state, we can bask in love, joy and abundant excitement.
Now when I feel myself start to worry, I ask, “Why are you worried?”
Almost every time I am able to see that the worry is just a barrier between where I am now and where I really want to be.
Fear and worry have a funny way of obstructing our dreams. Once we recognize their purpose we can bust through them and love every second of our lives.
A few months ago my 92-year-old grandma was sitting next to me, and I recognized that her reality was much different from mine. Here was a woman who has lived through the Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, 9/11 and now witnesses the administration of the first black president.
But there she sat, with a soft subtle glow. Grandma always smiles, and she had a peaceful spark in her eyes. It occurred to me that my mini dramas, self-loathing and worrying about my next assignment are rather superficial in comparison.
I asked this beautiful woman, “In your life, how did you get through the tough times?”
She looked over at me and simply said, “Well it all works out in the end now doesn’t it? There is no point in worrying when things always turn out fine.”
Shannon Kaiser is an inspirational author, life coach, speaker and travel writer. Her site, Playwiththeworld.com, inspires people to love their life to the fullest, through articles, videos, books, podcasts, lectures and more. She is currently a travel tip editor for Healing Lifestyles & Spas and a Destination Travel Editor for Examiner.com. A handful of her motivational stories have been published in Chicken Soup for The Soul and she is the author of the forthcoming book, Find Your Happy, An Inspirational Guide on Loving Life to Its Fullest. Published fall 2012.
Editor: Sara McKeown