I lived much of my life as a worrier. In fact, I’ve been known for it! As friends often said, “Oh, I know you’ll worry.” Doesn’t much matter what the “about” was. I just worried.
Fretted, may be a better word!
As one friend said, “You always go to the dark side.”
Once something negative happened, I flashed to worst-case scenario. Saw all the monsters surely headed my way. Became filled up with doom.
Now, doesn’t that sound like a lovely way to live? Because as we all know, stuff’s gonna happen. Doesn’t matter what your beliefs, or how meticulously you walk your path, life will bring you coal sludge. Brings you cupcakes too, but for god’s sake, let’s not focus on those!
To see the positive in a situation, or even just not the horrible, has been a nemesis of mine. And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the dungeon . . .
I realized I didn’t have to see things that way.
Oh, I know—lots of folks tried to teach me that, along the rocky paths of life. And yes, Lord knows I’ve had my share of heartache and sorrow. That history kept (and still keeps at times) the reality of what can happen front and center.
None of us will get out of here alive. We’ll all die before our loved ones, or they before us. Terrible things can happen.
But this only becomes pathological when as soon as the check didn’t arrive, we plunge into the darkness of mental poverty.
Or act the equivalent after any litany of negative events.
What I realized, finally, was that all those monsters I worried about encountering down whatever road probably wouldn’t materialize. And if they did, two out of four would fall in the ditch, one would veer another direction, and the last, even though I had to meet it, didn’t have the snarling fangs I had envisioned.
In short, things are rarely if ever as awful as my imagination made them out to be.
Okay, I do write fiction and visions dance in my head all the time. And while it does help to “see” my characters embroiled in conflict (which is what drives the story), I don’t have to focus on the negative in my own life.
Because the heart of it for me was that worrying, the actual act of doing so, kept me out of the present moment. And the present moment is where the future is born. And if all I did was worry and fret, the future would evolve exactly as the part of the past I didn’t favor.
Oh. Well then, when you put it that way . . .
So, I started choosing differently, in my own head.
I mean, here’s the deal: When presented with two possible outcomes of whatever you’re doing, planning, etc., can you say with 100% certainty that the negative one will occur? If so, please send me your crystal ball!
And if you don’t have that absolute certainty, then why on Earth choose to believe it? Why not make a different choice, and focus on the positive outcome?
Which opens doors to steps you can take to achieve it. Because when you’re convinced (or even think) the bad outcome will occur, why take another step toward it? Wouldn’t that be insanity?
What I learned, in essence, was to stop worrying and start living.
Worry takes enormous energy. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of energy to spare. In fact, I need it this morning to write this, and then to go play with fun stuff about the launch of I Just Came Here to Dance (what fun!), and then . . .
You get the picture. Like yours, my life is rich and full and filled with delights—which I’d miss if I were worrying about the book launch—which with previous ones, I’ve done. What joys I’ve missed!
So focus on what you want to have happen. Stand tall and face the world you’ve created, and the one that comes to you unbidden. Feel the freedom of the present moment, and say what’s in you to say. Lean into the bow and welcome the wind.
Your future awaits you!
This Post Has 2 Comments
Donna Verret21 Sep 2015
Amen, Sister! Like you, I tended to be an extreme worrier. My mother always chided me with, “If you didn’t have something to worry about, you’d go out and search until you find something, by GOD.” She was right. Once I started caring less about B.S. that didn’t make a rat’s toot, the angst stopped. Life is short. . . . and we might as well make it sweet.
Susan Malone22 Oct 2015
Perfectly said, Donna! And isn’t losing the angst a blessed event 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!