My mom’s German boyfriend, who I refer to as “The Germ,” told my mother, “You don’t worry too much, you worry too soon.” Props to The Germ for that gem.
Although I wouldn’t entirely agree in my case because I can certainly worry too much as well, I believe that The Germ is right. Heck, I spent all of last week hyperventilating about a “what if” scenario that didn’t even come close to happening.
Imagine if we never worried too soon, or we never worried at all? What if worrying isn’t a natural human response or state of being, but we’ve collectively agreed it’s the norm? Food for thought.
A lot of people don’t think worrying is a big deal, so they wait until it’s unbearable, and something must be done. I’m at the point in life where I feel I’ve suffered enough, and I am ready to do something before a midlife crisis happens. (Though I’m pretty sure I’ve already had about 12 of those.) What can be done to help us chill out?
Acknowledging that we’ve created a habit of worry is a good place to start. Just like any habit, when we’ve done it enough, it becomes second nature. If we start acknowledging worry as a habit, rather than linking the feeling with our identity, we can start to reclaim our power. Our perspective will shift objectively and positively by looking at worry through that lens.
I know it’s annoying as shit to hear someone say all you have is now, you just have to wait and see, or be in the moment when you have a flat tire on Route 101, and you’re worried you’re going to miss your favorite barre class. That said, it’s true. Nothing else exists but now. The past is an illusion from our limited perspective, and the future is nothing but our imagination. When we worry, it is never coming from this moment in time. It’s coming from our programming of what we believe might have or will happen. A habit of thought.
Becoming aware of our worries, and taking those moments to transform our fears into a practice of mindfulness and presence, will help us not worry too soon. We will progress so long as we keep trying. It may Not be easy at times, but no mud, no lotus.