I woke up at 5:30 am this morning with anxiety. I have found that the darkness of night closes in on me and tends to exacerbate my imagination. My fears are amplified at night. Suddenly, I lack rationale and my mind gives over to catastrophe thinking. It’s as if I suffer from “what if syndrome” every night. Sadly, I think this is a trait that I picked up from my mother, who is famous for her middle of the night “what if” episodes. During a “what if” episode, my mind goes on an epic scavenger hunt, for all of the potential terrible scenarios that could occur in the future. I may not look like I am a rational person to many. My brave, impulsive character, compels me to regroup and ground myself only long enough to find another cliff to hurl myself off of; and this tendency of mine guarantees that I encounter dramatic experiences in my life again and again. Some days, I love that about my life. Other days, it sucks and I chastise myself for this facet of my character. But, I do have a very rational side to my character. A side that is well aware of the danger of metaphorically hurling myself off of cliffs. And this rational side, converts very easily to worry after the initial allure of my grand ideas begins to wane in the wake of all the details that have to be taken care of in order to turn my grand ideas into realities. The idea of things is often so much more glamorous than the actuality of them. One day, I will look into why this is the case for so many of us.
I’ve been thinking about worry today. Those of us who worry, are convinced that worrying keeps us and the ones we love alive. We think it allows us to see potentially life threatening or unpleasant things before they come and so we can prepare for them. The thing is, we live in a reality that is created by the mind and is managed by the law of attraction. In an attraction-based universe, it is not possible to repel something. Meaning that anything you think about or pay attention to, is attracted into your experience. Even if we do not want something we are thinking about, by virtue of focusing upon it, we include it in our reality. If we do want something and we are thinking about it, by virtue of our thinking about it, we include it in our reality. So, we tend to create the very things we worry the most about. Ideally, we simply wouldn’t create the problem in the first place.
I have noticed that many of us (especially those of us who worry) feel as if the universe is against us. And the universe seems so much larger than us. So, it feels as if we are up against something we can’t win against. But nonetheless, we organisms of earth are survivalists and so we must try to win all the same. Our survival and basic human need of certainty is at risk if we don’t win. So, we use worry to try to outsmart our adversary. And our adversary is the universe. Because we think life is a kind of giant cosmic chess game, we find it very hard to focus positively, it makes us feel like ignorant sitting ducks about to get shot in a pond. We think there is going to be a consequence for positive focus. We spend our time focusing on consequences or potential problems. But what we do not understand is that focusing on consequences and potential problems is much different than focusing on solutions. Sticking with the analogy of the cliff, it’s like those of us who worry are headed off a cliff. We are so convinced that we are headed towards impending doom and that doom is what we deserve, that we keep focusing on the fall. We feel powerless to our own realities, and we think we can’t avoid that pain, so we spend our time focusing on and preparing for that pain. In our minds, if we know what to expect, it wont hurt as bad.
This is a vibrational universe, and the problem is a different vibration than the solution. This means, you cannot be focused on the problem and be a vibrational match to the solution at the same time. That is a vibrational contradiction. So the solution cannot come to you. This is why worrying never feels good. It never leads to what we hope it will lead us to… solutions. We use worry to inspire us towards solution-focused preparation. But once we begin to switch out focus to solutions… we give worry the credit when worry was the resistance to the solution, it was the contrast. It wasn’t responsible for the solution; the focus on solution was responsible for the solution. Worry is the opposite of solution-oriented focus.
You see, the idea of a potential problem in the future, does not in and of itself cause us pain. What causes us pain is the idea that it will happen, that there is no way to avoid it. What causes us pain is the idea that the potential problem is not potential, but is instead impeding and so our only way to lessen the blow is to prepare for its inevitability.
Those of us who worry
#1. Don’t believe we create our own reality even if we desperately want to believe that we do.
#2. We believe down deep that we are not good enough to deserve love or reward. And so we think instead, that we deserve punishment.
#3. We believe that whoever or whatever does create our reality is the authority figure, and so we ascribe the personality traits we associate with our primary authority figure over the universe and expect the same kind of treatment from the universe. Most of us who worry had an authority figure that believed in punishment. And so, we come to expect the same kind of treatment from the universe as we got from dad or mom or from whoever that primary authority figure was. We expect the universe to cause us pain. We have a love hate relationship with the universe. We expect the universe to hurt us. Just like we felt with our primary authority figure as children, we do not feel like we can escape the impending punishment and consequences for not being good enough.
Here is an important realization, we think worry keeps us safe or at the very least, lessens our pain. But as long as we are worrying, we are not feeling safe and we are feeling pain. So we will most likely spend our life never actually experiencing safety and never actually experiencing enjoyment. And that does no good for us because we’d be better off dying now and getting over with the worst-case scenario than living our lives like that. Better off to die and let others die that spend our life using them as our excuse to be “out of alignment”.
Your reality is whatever your mind is focused on. It has already been scientifically proven that the mind does not know the difference between what you are thinking about and what is actually happening. If you are focused on the worst-case scenario, the worst-case scenario is the only reality you can perceive. Even if the person you’re worried about is alive and well, in your mind they are already dead and inured. You are making them dead or injured in your mind. Worrying IS living the worst-case scenario so you may as well let go and let it happen. You’re already living it.
I’m going to present a radical idea. By worrying, we are living the fear and reality of something without it happening physically. Worry prevents us from seeing reality. It makes “now” not exist. It makes all that exists, a future that we can’t deal with. And should what we are worried about not happen; we will worry about something else. Look at your life with worry. Why try to prevent calamity in the first place, if your life is nothing but preparation for the next calamity and the next calamity. It’s not like life gets better for you. You have an option, decide that living an unhappy life is right for you personally, or decide that living this way is not worth preventing the worst-case scenario. Decide whether it is better to be a sitting duck in a pond for a few days of bliss in the pond water or to be a duck that lives every day of their lives panic stricken and waiting for the hunter to point a gun at them. What kind of life are we trying to preserve? If we are chronic worriers, there is no kind of life to preserve. So why try? It just so happens that the minute we give up this incessant focus on the potential problem, we cannot be a vibrational match to it! If we are not a vibrational match to it, it cannot happen in our reality because there is nothing outside of us creating our reality. And if we aren’t focused on things that feel bad, things that cause us to feel bad can’t happen in our reality. Regardless of whether or not you believe in "God, or whether like me, the word Source (as unified consciousness) better represents the powers that be in this universe, I always loved this quote:
If you are like me, you aren’t going to release worry all at once. It cruelty to expect yourself to release it all at one after a lifetime of being convinced that it is the only reason you’re alive and those you love are alive; and after lifetime of convincing yourself that worrying about someone means loving someone (which it does not). Worrying is a habit. But every habit is breakable, especially when you see that it does not serve you anymore. And in fact, it never did.
This morning I have done what I usually do when I begin to worry; I have isolated myself in a guest room (away from everyone) in order to grapple with my fears alone. In essence, without even realizing it, I have begun to resist my own worry. By doing this, I am perpetuating my worry. So, I’m going to quit resisting my worry and I’m going to go find someone to talk to about my worries instead; someone who can help me focus on solutions instead of problems and who can help me create the best case scenario instead of continue to lend energy to the worst case scenario that is playing on repeat in my mind.