From above the clouds, the horizon line is below you. The ink of night forms a bubble around you. The stars are not just above you; they are horizontal to you and beneath you as well. It is beautiful. I usually don’t take nighttime flights. They have the tendency to be disorienting but sometimes, they cannot be reasonably avoided.
Turbulence feels worse at nighttime. With no visual reference in sight, you cannot orient yourself in space. You feel even more powerless to what you cannot know as a passenger. You’re being flown blind into the darkness. The woman in front of me is struggling to stay afloat emotionally as the plane erratically jostles and dips and rises. She is being comforted by the man sitting in the seat next to her, otherwise I would intervene. I find it interesting that the mind in a state of fear begins to project the worst-case scenario over the situation it finds itself in. It does so to the degree that we can’t even recognize the ‘reality’ of what is happening. The woman in front of me is convinced we are going to crash. It is a painful metaphor. The truth is, some of us spend our lives convinced we’re going to crash.
For a great many of us, instead of looking forward to things, we expect the worst. When we expect the worst, it makes us distrust and fear our future. It makes us feel like we are destined to suffer and that the future holds tragedy for us. Instead of heading into the light, it feels like we are walking around a blind curve and potential indescribable darkness. For us, it feels like our desires are not meant to be ours. Why do we expect bad things to happen?
We expect bad things to happen because bad things did happen to us. To one degree or another, tragedy did strike for us. And when it struck, we felt so blindsided, so powerless and so unable to explain why it happened, that we decided we had no control over our lives. We decided we were at the mercy of a cruel world that could harm us at any moment. We decided that the only control we did have and the only way to ensure that we would not get blindsided again, was to prepare for the worst.
Preparing for the worst, is a coping mechanism. It is a survival strategy for those of us who feel deep down as if we do not create our own reality. It is a survival mechanism for those of us who have been hurt and especially for those of us who have been hurt again and again. The most painful part about expecting the worst is the feeling of grieving for things before they have even happened. We miss people before they are even gone. We feel disappointment before we have been let down. We feel the crushing weight of the loss of people we love, even when they are alive and well.
So how did this all begin? By the time we had graduated from babyhood into childhood, most of us had forgotten that we selected this life (and our family of origin) because of the way it would facilitate our soul progression. We had no idea that we were creating our reality with our thoughts and that our feelings were reflecting back to us what we were a vibrational match to. And so, we did not recognize the emotional and mental pre-conditions that made us a vibrational match to painful experiences, especially our most tragic experiences. This is why we felt blindsided by tragedy and came to expect the worst-case scenario.
For example, lets say that we have forgotten that we chose into this life with a mother who could not love us like we needed to be loved. Lets say that we experienced losing the love of this parent and being ostracized by them and turning into the black sheep of the family. The deep levels of grief that we felt as a result (but tried to suppress in order to survive within the family), is a strong vibrational point of attraction. So, it makes us a match to tragedy, without us even knowing it. We are a match to tragedy because we are not letting ourselves grieve the loss of the connection we had with the person who was supposed to love us the very most. We are trying to deny it, trying to ignore the feeling, trying to feel differently, and doing anything we can to escape that feeling. By doing this, we are resisting and suppressing the feeling. We are stuck in it and it is stuck within us and it intensifies. Then, we experience the manifestation of a tragedy. This tragedy, which is a reflection of the first tragedy, will usually be a magnification of the first tragedy. We will lose the connection with our loved ones even more.
For example, one day we are at school and we get a phone call saying that our parent has died. Or we get kidnapped and thus separated from our family to an even more extreme degree. Because we do not acknowledge the way we felt prior to this tragedy, we feel blindsides by it. We do not recognize that this tragedy in fact did not blindside us at all. We felt blindsided only because we were living in an unconscious state. We were unconscious about how we truly felt prior to the incident, and even if we were conscious of what we felt prior, we did not see the connection between the way we felt prior and the way we felt as a result of the incident. Also, we were unconscious that we create our reality. We did not know that we could tell what we were creating in our future by virtue of how we felt today. So, we decided that the only way to ensure any emotional survival was to prepare for the worst so we would never be blindsided again.
It’s not like society looks down on preparing for the worst; in fact preparing for the worst is a glorified idea within our society. Even the military adheres to the philosophy “hope for the best, prepare for the worst”. But does that tell you what kind of mindset you have to be in to be a “prepare for the worst” kind of person? You have to be in an attitude of war and opposition. You have to feel as if the forces in the world are out to get you. To some degree, you must believe that there is malevolence in this universe and that it has its sights set on you.
In a universe based on the law of attraction, we essentially experience whatever we expect. For those of us who expect the worst, this becomes a big problem. If we learn that we create your own realty by virtue of what we focus on and believe (we could call focus+believing expectation), and we are chronic worriers who expect the worst-case scenario, we start to fear our own negative focus and our own negative creations. This compounds our worry about the future. We are now worrying about worrying. We don’t know how to stop worrying and how to stop expecting the worst-case scenario, but we want to so badly because we are scared that we are creating the very thing we worry about. But the law of attraction is a very misunderstood concept. Law of attraction works like an impartial mirror. It merely reflects whatever you’re feeling in the form of a physical scenario. This should help you with this fear you have about creating the very thing you’re worrying about by worrying about it. Law of attraction as it applies to worry, means that if you worry, you will not necessarily attract the thing you are worrying about, what you will attract, is more worry. Worry is a match to worry. You will attract more things to worry about and more circumstances that cause you to worry. Tragedy is not usually a match to worry. Tragedy is a match to lower vibrational emotions, like loss and like grief.
Lay the mind creates reality to the side for just a minute and pretend that we don’t create our reality. For those of you who don’t fully trust that you create your own reality and who expect the worst-case scenario, the following statistics may just help you out. 40% of what we worry about never happens – so in essence we are wasting our time by worrying about it. 30% of what we worry about has already happened. You cannot change the past – no one can. So in essence, we are wasting our time worrying about it. 22% are needless worries, what we call “petty worries” unrelated to catastrophe, such as we worry what someone else thinks about us or we worry about what’s for dinner, we worry about being late, or we worry about what to wear. 8% of what we worry about actually happens. And of this percentage, 4% of our worries that happen are beyond our control. We cannot change the outcome, no matter how much we plan. These worries may include illness, the death of a loved one or an impending natural disaster. And I can tell you personally that often times the reality of these events are more bearable than the worry. This means, 4% of what we worry about, we have some if not complete control over the results of. And it is the consequence of our action or inaction that creates the problems and challenges we face relative to this worry. Things like “I worried about getting injured in a car wreck, but didn’t buckle my seat belt.” So what should we do if we are constantly preparing for the worst?
1. We need to stop suppressing the feeling of worry. We need to allow ourselves to grieve for the original tragedy that we experienced in our lives. Usually, this one is not one that we have conscious memory of. Usually, this one came before the tragedy that we consciously recall. To do this, we need to begin to allow ourselves to feel our feelings and fully allow them. The more willing we are to feel, the less resistant we become to negative experiences, the less we worry about them happening and the less we try to prevent them from happening.
2. We need to acknowledge that part of what is so scary is that we do not know what is going to happen. This is terrible on one hand because it means that bad things could happen. But we can use this uncertainty to our advantage by the simple acknowledgement that good things could happen too. If we can acknowledge that we do not actually know what is going to happen, we cannot say that we know 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that something bad will happen. Just this simple acknowledgement can release our conviction that something bad will happen and thus, change the way we feel and thus raise our frequency.
3. It is time to take a look at deserving. If you expect bad things to happen and if you prepare for the worst, to some degree you do not believe that you deserve good things to happen to you and yours. After all, subconsciously you think that if you deserved good things to happen, bad things wouldn’t have happened to you.
4. It is time to acknowledge the disappointment that overwhelms your life. So much of expecting the worst, comes in the package of disappointment. We don’t fear disappointment until it happens to us. So, we need to alter our perspective about disappointment.
5. Begin to design your day around things to look forward to that you can control. Your day belongs to you. If you fear the future because you expect the worst, begin to place good things in your future by planning things that feel good to you and doing them throughout the day. Think of this like placing gold coins in your future and collecting them. Start very small. If we really expect tragedy to strike and expect disappointment, we will tend to feel like the bigger the thing is or the more we want it, the more likely it is to fall through. So start with things you would enjoy and things you think most likely will happen if you want them to happen. For example, I may believe that a vacation with friends will fall through and end in disappointment, but a lunch meeting with them will probably happen. So, I plan an enjoyable lunch meeting for today. Get in the habit of actually actively planning and scheduling into your day lots of little things that you can look forward to. Things like watching a movie or eating a treat or going on a walk or sitting on the beach or going swimming, or visiting someone etc. The more comfortable you get with expecting things to pan out and go well, the easier it will be to plan bigger things to look forward to and the less you’ll fear catastrophe.
6. Keep a synchronicity journal to record synchronicities in every day. A synchronicity is anything that seems divinely orchestrated. For example, I was talking to someone about unicorns and then I was stopped at a stoplight and a man in a unicorn costume walked right in front of the car. Or, I was listening to an episode of ask teal that said I needed to work on deserving and here I am in the bathroom stall and there’s an advertisement for an upcoming event stuck to the back of the bathroom stall that says “you deserve”. Take note of every little synchronicity in your life. Not only will this help you to see that you are creating your reality, it will also help you to see that there is a purpose to everything. This exercise can even make you feel much less alone; like some unseen force is actually looking out for you and like all things are interconnected. When I’m teaching people to manifest, one of the first things I have them do is to keep a synchronicity journal.
7. Spend time every day in an attitude of appreciation. To appreciate something is to acknowledge something that you enjoy. It is essentially pure positive focus. This time, is time spent observing and acknowledging the things that you do like about your life and that have gone well about your life. Some people carry an item in their pocket, like a stone or a dice and every time they reach into their pocket and touch it, they search for something to appreciate or feel gratitude for. Other people, like myself, wake up and write gratitude lists. To write a gratitude list, list everything you like or love about your life. Both past and present. The sky is the limit; this list could contain personality traits, actual items, people, circumstances, or events etc. For example, I could feel grateful for the book I’m reading, for the way it feels to hug my son or watch him while he’s sleeping, for the way that my cashew ice cream tastes, for how warm and cozy my bed is, for the fact that I get to set my own schedule. The point is, it’s impossible to expect the worst at the same time as focusing on things that have gone well for you or good things happening to you. When you acknowledge that there are things in your reality that feel good to have and to experience, it weakens the belief that bad things always happen. And on top of that, it feels really good to focus on things that feel good to focus on and so; you are increasing your vibration when you do that so you are no longer a match to worry.
8. Reflect back on times when you thought that the worst-case scenario would happen, and it didn’t. Maybe you were convinced that a loved one who was hit by a car would die or slip into a coma, but they didn’t. They made a full recovery. Take note of these times, the brain must be allowed to see proof that it’s chronic worry is not always accurate. We can use doubt to our advantage this time, by letting the brain doubt itself and doubt it’s conviction that the worst-case scenario will happen.
9. Let yourself go to the worst-case scenario intentionally. Most of our pain relative to worry is that we worry while trying to resist thinking about the worst-case scenario. It’s kind of like me saying to you “don’t think about lemons”. Lemons are what you thought about the second I said not to. When we’re worrying, we are thinking about the worst-case scenario already, we are just resisting what we are already thinking about. So, intentionally let the reigns go and let yourself think consciously about the worst case scenario.
Do not suppress your fears. It is important to acknowledge what you are afraid of. Just the simple awareness of what you’re afraid of increases your vibration. I suggest writing down your fears and allowing your brain to work with you towards alleviating your fears by planning.
You are expecting WAY too much from yourself if you are expecting yourself to just stop expecting the worst overnight. Take control of your life by writing your fears down. Now separate your fears into two categories, things you can do something about and things you can’t do anything about. For the fears that you can do something about, start to strategize concrete steps that you can take to reduce those fears. For example, if I wrote down “failure on my career project” as a fear, I might set out concrete steps I can take today to succeed at that job like complete the project by June 1st, pick up supplies at staples, hire a consultant, or start today on the first draft. Then, one by one execute and cross off these steps as you do them. For now, the more control you feel over your reality and life experience, the less you will worry and the more you will start to expect things to go well.
For the items in the “cannot control” list, practice the art of surrender or letting go. If you cannot do anything at all about something, worrying about it only hurts you in the here and now and does nothing to prevent anything. It may not be enough to stop you from worrying about it all together, but it is easier to stop worrying about something once our brain sees that no matter how much it thinks about it, no amount of strategizing is going to work. This brings at least some acceptance.
Some people may assume that by doing this exercise, you’re focused on things going badly and thus are creating that for yourself. But here’s the thing, for people who are chronic worriers, we tend to worry and not take steps to alleviate our worry. We tend to worry less (and thus create less catastrophe) when we actually let ourselves do what is within our power to do to prevent the worst-case scenario. And if we can eventually go even further and make peace with the worst-case scenario, we will no longer worry about it at all.
10. Begin to think positively about whatever you are worried about. This is not the same thing as lying to yourself. Manifestation experts, spiritual teachers, psychologists and even scientists agree that the things you center your attention on, shape the way you experience life. If you focus your attention on all the painful things that might happen in your future, you are not only calling more of that into your life, you are subconsciously self-sabotaging. Your fears will hold you back. They will harm or end relationships unnecessarily. Your low sense of self worth will prevent you from getting what you want. You may miss opportunities entirely because you are fixated on the painful possibilities of what could come.
Start to acknowledge things that actually make you feel better about whatever you are worrying about. For example, if I’m worried that my son is going to get into a car wreck, I might intentionally acknowledge that car seats are made very well these days, he’s being driven by a really diligent person who is a defensive driver, he has an entourage of spirit guides with him at all times to help him, cars are built impact resistant, they are designed for collisions, my son is no exception to the law of attraction, he creates his own reality and since he is a very trusting and playful kid, he is probably not a vibrational match to a car wreck, he is so excited to go on this trip that even though it involves a risk, letting him follow his bliss is worth the risk. I want to stress that you should not lie to yourself while doing this exercise, too many people try to focus on thoughts and affirmations that they think should make them feel better, but that don’t. You only want to focus on things that genuinely make you feel better about whatever you are worried about.
As much as it may not seem like it, you did not come to this life to suffer. You do not deserve to suffer. The universe you are living in is indivisible from you and thus loves you as itself. And having experienced tragedy in the past is no guarantee that you will experience tragedy in the future. We are all flying blind into the night in our individual lives. This inevitably leads to some degree of worry and there are times that you cannot stop worrying just because it doesn’t make sense to do so. Emotion cannot be talked into disappearing on the grounds that it isn’t practical. When this is the case, you need to be completely with it. You need to cradle your fury or worry or fear as if it were begging desperately for your help instead of trying to hurt you.