In Isabel Allende’s historic novel Ines of my Soul, she quotes one of her characters as saying, “It makes no sense to suffer in advance a misfortune that may never occur.”
If I don’t worry, and think of all the possibilities of disaster, then calamity will surely befall me. This thinking dominated my childhood and early adult years. As if I were the master of the Universe, I went through every scenario in case I missed something. This can take up a lot of your time. And it may attract or provoke discouraging incidents.
Later on, when I was birthing and rearing children, I lived in fear with occasional breaks of joy. I felt guilty for not focusing more time on worry and spending more time doing life, enjoying children and pursuing quiet and sleep time.
My anxiety grew as we engaged in the Gulf War, 9/11 and another war, environmental tipping points and global financial instability.
Living in constant dread burns out your adrenals. I stopped watching the news. It heightens your cortisol levels, causing weight gain. I stopped watching scary movies. Depression and paralyzing thoughts set you up for a continuing downward spiral. I stopped listening to the negative chatter.
It’s hard to see the light when you live in terror, subjugation or self inflicted mind games. Negative forces easily influence and infiltrate the dark corners.
Am I a forecaster of doom? Do I believe I control everything? Am I my own saboteur? A resounding yes! Ahhhh,, but… when I am the problem, I have a solution.
So let there be change and let it begin with me.
The transformational journey continues.
Meanwhile, I have learned much as I climb out and away from my dysfunctional thinking. Many tools and people have been willing to help if I ask, need and use them. And that has taught me to seek more assistance and dig deeper, wider and stay with the pain. Surrender, let it go and move on. This has become more manageable.
In turn, I have been rewarded with knowing how to breathe deeply, meditate silently, pray faithfully, journal daily, affirm positively, call immediately, exercise regularly and a whole litany of ways to distract and train my undisciplined brain that dares to torture me.
Why waste sixty seconds on one minute of worry when I could be in the present moment and enjoy the here and now?