Job, marriage, kids, money, image, things. We worry. A lot. Too much. Sometime around the industrial revolution, we coined a term for our worry. We downgraded it to “stress,” and began to treat it like something you can manage, something that can be controlled. And when we failed to call it what it really is,…
This is so absolutely true! Facing your fears is something so powerful but yet something so many of us are afraid to do. But yet, often once you face them, you realize that when you look them in the eye, there is so little behind them that you needn’t worry after all.
One of my problems is that when I’m lying in bed at night, I just worry about everything: worst case scenarios of anything possible, most often about things happening to those I love. Many of us, I’m sure, do the same. My recent trick is to simply talk to myself as I would a beloved friend – gently and lovingly, working it all out bit by bit and pointing out how, in many cases, I am helpless to do anything, so worrying won’t help me at all.
So, for example, I might be lying in bed at night, panicking over my brother dying of a heart attack at an early age.
“He’s going to die! I’m going to find him dead in his room! What am I going to do?!” Cries Neurotic Meadowsweet.
Lovingkindness Meadowsweet replies, “Can we do anything about that? Is there anything within our power to change that? He’s already changing his diet and he’s going to get weight loss surgery.”
Neurotic Meadowsweet says grudgingly, “Well … I guess you’re right …”
And the two go on and on, problem by problem, until finally, the fears are exhausted and the whole meadow of Meadowsweets can go to sleep.
Treating ourselves lovingly and accepting our fears as valid goes such a long way toward healing them, and ourselves.