Sunday, June 9, 2024




Last week, I had a few days where I felt overwhelmed and near paralyzed by life.  I had gloom over my head, terror and hopelessness in my heart, and despair in my being. I felt my life was a big failure and the future was filled with the results of all the mistakes and un-optimal life choices and situations I felt I was facing.

After I “emerged” from the ruins, I started thinking about the source and reasons and while the surface level is apparent (life—and its many facets, which, really are all good- right? I mean, I get that I live in privilege, I am safe, housed, fed, and live in a free country… for now… but that is another topic)(of worry), the underlying source of these days of dread were from being imprisoned in worry.

WORRY. It’s never ending available of course, because, for all of us, the future is unknown and uncertain.  So, we have the option of taking that unknown and identifying the potential pitfalls of everything around us.  We could worry about so many options- being late for appointments and meeting, our kids not realizing their potential, not doing the best that we can access of ourselves in our jobs, managing finances and saving for the future, relationships, having enough time, and on and on.

The Erma Bombeck quote: “Worry is like a rocking chair.  It keeps you busy, but never gets you anywhere” hit home.  I looked back at my few days of feeling crushed and realized how much I was in the rocking chair.  Just freaking rocking back and forth IN THE WORRY, amplifying the worry. HOLDING ON to the worry. Because that is what I can control right- I will FIERCELY HOLD ONTO THIS WORRY AND IF I HOLD IT…. we will be ok?????

But no.  Nothing was accomplished, except that I lost a few days of joy. I literally let the worry win, and the worry is just an abstract anyway.  It is a “what if”.  “What if the worst”.  

The time I spent commiserating about the potential doom of life only served to reinforce negative self talk that I’ve been trying to work on NOT doing!  Messages that I didn’t do enough, I am not enough, I am always doing wrong things, I am a waste. Maybe worrying was more about me justifying those self talk messages that I am trying to get rid of?

I’ve spent some time reflecting and In spending time working on this tendency to not be able to stay in the present moment, but be so tied to the uncertain future.  It reminds me of how much peace I am able to find within my yoga practice, where I literally have learned over the years to – while on my mat, be in the moment.  I wish so much I was already able to take this to a greater percentage of my time in real life, but I am at least AWARE, and working on it and acknowledge the need to work on this. I want to take a step in the right direction towards improving my response the next time this overwhelming worry may arrive, and I have realized that the worry of course is a cousin of my anxiety.  It’s a little different, but in the same direction.  The un-knowing.  The un-trusting. The open ended future that none of us know.  How can we deal with that not knowing?

And so the next step.  It brings me to self trust and truth.

SELF TRUST: Of course when we worry, we are not solving anything for our future! There is no way to solve this problem of not being able to see into our future!  The only thing we can do is remind ourselves that whatever comes, we can handle it.  And when I think of it this way, I do feel more okay and more confident based on the evidence- that so far, I’ve been able to handle life as it comes.  Mistakes and errors and misfortune happen, but, I have evidence to know that I can take care of myself, that nothing is too big or wrong that I cannot handle.  And I say this, knowing that part of self trust is having faith, knowing that God is with me. I know that in my life, I’ve got myself.

TRUTH: I feel like this is harder to articulate, but in the midst of worry, since worry is in the future, it seems imperative to come back to NOW and the truth. When I’m in the midst of this distress and unease of worry, I have the choice to practice training my mind to come back to now and the truth of now. That here I am, in a place of being okay. And if I just take one breath and moment at a time, I will be okay now.  Then I’ll see what the next breath brings and I can handle what is there.  Like I said, this isn’t maybe my most natural way, since I apparently find it very easy to go into OVERDRIVE of DOOM and DREAD.  But I am always committed to taking care of my full self, my whole self, my mind, body, heart, and soul in all of the ways.  Part of that is paying attention to my mind.  Paying attention to recognizing the tendencies that are my truth, that I need to be in hard work on.

In all of this thought, a comparison was brought to my attention about worry.  It was said that worry is like leaving a car light on overnight. It’s draining. It dissipates energy that goes nowhere. It helps no one. It serves no purpose- no one is in the car, it is unproductive.  And I RECOGNIZE this.  I recognize this as a LIFE tendency.  Oh my goodness I use so much energy unnecessarily.  My car light (worry/anxiety) is running so much higher than it needs to.  It drains me, and it has led to sickness, but also just to un-wellness over many years.

Last week’s little life crisis that wasn’t- was in a way a really nice awakening to myself.

*Can I trust myself to handle what comes, even if it may not be what I would choose.  Yes.

*Do I know myself in my truth.  Yes.

*Am I unnecessarily draining my batteries, YES.  And I would like to work on this.