‘Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere’ ~ Glenn Turner
Worrying is such a nowhere place, but for those who are perpetual worriers it’s a hard habit to break. Afraid of being taken by surprise, perpetual worriers are hyper-vigilant, always on the look out for the next thing that might go wrong. For them, it’s akin to a duty which holds their world together, but the price is high ~ anxiety, stress, insomnia, rapid heart beat and even digestive problems ~ all unwanted things which create more worry. And sadly, for those who can’t stop worrying it never goes away!
Anyone who is or has a perpetual worrier in their family knows exactly what I’m talking about. My sweet, caring, loving little mother is a worrier. She instantly sees the worst in any situation and no matter how hard she tries, she just can’t stop. It’s her first response to almost everything, and because she keeps thinking about the bad bits, she creates more of the same. It often keeps her awake at night and also creates an enormous amount of stress. And even though she is aware that she is creating more of what she doesn’t want she remains trapped ~ stuck and unable to move beyond it. Now in her 90th year it’s unlikely she’ll change a habit of a lifetime, so I wrap her in love and do my best to ease her worries by telling her that everything will be just fine.
Now I’m the opposite, which is interesting given I grew up surrounded by so much worry energy ~ I’m always focusing on the good bits. And I guess I can thank my happy-go-lucky Dad for that! So, all of this leads me to a conversation which I had with a friend yesterday. She is a very caring concerned person ~ so concerned in fact, that she was in worry mode … worried about all the ‘bad’ things happening to the planet, and those on the planet. Of course I am aware of all of these things, but because I am always focused on the possibilities, I can’t bring myself to worry about any of it or be negative. When concern becomes a passion for positive change, that’s great, provided it stays focused on the positive. To paraphrase Mother Teresa, ‘ask me to an anti-war rally and I won’t be part of it, but ask me to a pro-peace rally and I’m there’. It’s my belief that when you shine a spotlight on positive thought, action or improvement the world is a better place.
So, there is awareness ~ very important for solving the problem and creating positive change, there is concern ~ equally important as it’s very clarifying and also part of our survival instinct, and then there is negativity and worry ~ that’s not so important and bad for your health. For me it’s a choice, and I choose to focus on the good and to feel good. When it feels bad, and for me worrying and negativity feels really bad, it’s not helpful.
Sitting there with my friend, if I’d had a wand I would have whipped it out and become the happy fairy. Instead, I said that I preferred to focus on the positive aspects of all her concerns. And when it was obvious that I wasn’t prepared to wave the worry banner she looked at me and said, ‘Well, at least you’re happy’. And that is the whole point. I am because I choose it. We all live and learn in our own way, and for me, this is the most important thing. I choose to focus on the positive, the expansion and the joy. I choose to allow wellbeing … and I am grateful.
Inara Hawley © 2013