In last week's Sandy Chat we talked about deluttering our lives. This week let's look at something very specific that we need to clean up and get rid of in that process...Worry. It’s so interesting how we sort of see worry as a sign of love isn’t it? When someone we love, or we ourselves, come up against a challenge we often times leave the present moment and fast forward into to worry. While it may be normal to do this, worry is NOT love. I think there is another route we could consider if we really want to be and show love.
When we worry, we have left the present moment. We have leapt ahead to an outcome, the future, the unknown. I’m sure you can think of times when maybe you or someone you love had a scary diagnosis, or a job was in jeopardy, or maybe we worry about what other people will think of us, or worry about our finances. Yes, worry is as normal as apple pie – yet not productive, not helpful, and also not love.
Let’s consider the benefits of worry… hmmmm…. I’m thinking… nope, can’t come up with any! Worry doesn’t really change anything in a positive way. It creates stress in ourselves and those who we spend time with. It is VERY hard on our physical self, can create headaches, tummy trouble, ulcers, all kinds of fun stuff!
And if we’re worried about someone else – how does our worry benefit them?... again… I can’t come up with any benefits. It actually sends them a message that we believe the worst about the situation, something bad is about to happen. Think of a time when you went through a challenge that might cause others to worry about you. What do you remember the most about that situation in regards to how others treated you? Did you want pity? Did you want someone to feel as scared as you did? For my perspective, I wanted someone who was an uplifter to help take me out of my ruminating! Acknowledge that I'm up against something hard, but don't go down the rabbit hole with me! I need someone up there to pull me out!!!
When a co-worker of mine was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, I remember vividly that she directly requested that people NOT talk about her health with her unless she brought it up. She wanted to stay OUT of worry and in the present moment as much as possible.
On the surface, worry seems to be useful – I mean after all, you CARE, right?!? So let’s try this angle, think of somewhere known for caring. Maybe a hospital, maybe a church, maybe a therapist office, maybe an animal shelter?? Do the professionals in these roles worry about those in their care? Or do they show them compassion, loving-kindness, presence? Actually what they do is they stay in the moment with you. They don't worry, they comfort with being present and showing compassion.
To simply be present, with someone going through something difficult – or to stay present with YOURSELF when there is a challenge, is a true gift of love. I remember very clearly when each of my parents were nearing the ends of their physical lives, my dad was in the hospital and he was rather stubborn – but a loving guy for sure. He didn’t want pity, or help, but I remember him telling me one time it would be okay to sit on the end of his bed when he was in the hospital. He wanted to know someone was there, present with him.
Same kind of story with my mom. She was pretty mentally out of it in the end, yet I’ll never forget her telling me in a moment of clarity that I could lay on the bed with her while we talked. She too just wanted to know someone was there. Didn’t want worry or pity or concern, just love. Just presence and being in the moment with her.
When we worry, we have left the building Elvis. We are checked out of the present moment and are in our imagination, focused on the future and focused on FEAR. Love and fear are not on the same frequency. It’s really difficult to worry and feel love at the same time. Come to think of it, it's darn near impossible to worry and do ANYTHING positive at the same time!!! And often our fear and worry really come back to making the situation about US. We worry about someone else’s challenge or what others think because we don’t know what it will mean for or about US. Again… normal, most people would never consider the idea that worrying might be about ourselves, but if you read this blog regularly – my guess is that you strive to be a bit more conscious and awake and are willing to question your thoughts and beliefs. And on top of that, we are ALL capable of reaching higher than to place the focus on ourselves. Easy to forget in the moment, yet we can all do better.
So what are we to do? The key to staying out of negative emotion is to stay in the present moment. If you or someone you love is up against something tough, the path to love is to stay in the NOW. A couple of super simple things we can do that we can do anywhere, any time without even causing a scene include:
So what is the opposite of worry and fear? Love. Which looks like faith, compassion, trust, being in the present moment. If you really want to help someone you are tending to worry about – send them your light, your love, SMILE and think of what you appreciate about them. For me, I try (not always successfully) to use the example of Jesus… he looked PAST the leprosy, PAST the outer appearance, PAST the labels others put on people and saw the LIGHT in them instead, and it melted away their disease and troubles.
So I figure if I shine MY OWN light in the midst of things that are tempting to worry about, then I invite those that are in the midst of their own challenges to shine theirs as well, which is the best gift I can give. A shared effort to rise above the appearance of conditions or circumstances.
Being present doesn’t necessarily mean you are physically in the same location with another person. We all know people in our lives that are extremely present when we talk to them, even if it’s on the phone. To do this we will have to stop, get in the moment and stop doing fifty other things. We talked all last week in this blog and on the Double X Factor show about decluttering our lives. Being present means you make space for the other person or for yourself. Making space and being present is an act of compassion and love and it will take some practice!
So my advice… don’t wait till something pops up to activate your worry mode, start practicing presence and compassion now! When you’re in the heat of the moment is definitely NOT the time to start practicing! Make some space to appreciate, love and be where you are… it is soooooo much better for everyone than worry.
In addition to submitting this blog on an irregular basis, I also do a short radio show on a regular basis (Monday thru Friday each week) with my friend and co-host Spencer Williams. All this week we are going to dive into the topic of WORRY! You can listen and see if what we have learned can be of any help to fellow seekers on their own paths. I will post links to these short 3 minute bolsters of upliftment on my Facebook page and there will be more on the topic of worry – you can listen any time.
Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!