I have long believed the concept that worry is a waste of imagination and yet my mind has often spun out of control with thoughts that threaten to sweep me away. I teach this, preach this, write about it, fight about it and fight with it. I come from a long line of worriers; my paternal grandmother, the Russian immigrant bubby about whom I have written in previous blog entries being a champion. My father inherited her tendencies and then, even though I would tell him that worrying about us wouldn’t keep us safe, he would shrug his shoulders, smile wistfully and tell me that as a parent, it was his job to worry. It’s kind of like believing that worrying about crashing is what keeps an airplane aloft. I have unfortunately carried on this family tradition (cue Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof) as I wonder about my son and what his future might look like. The reality is, no matter how much I attempt to oversee, micromanage or control outcomes, he is going to make whatever choices he does and is going to need to face whatever emerges as a result, the same as I did when I was his age. Not sure my parents ever fully accepted that for me. They probably held their breath, let go and prayed a lot, just like they did when I rode my bike for the first time, or got behind the wheel of the car or left for college or got married. All of those milestone events were cause for worry or celebration.
Worrying is form of spiritual amnesia. Forgetting that all is well, that my needs are taken care of, that all is in Divine order, that flowers blossom in their own time, that people and events and opportunities show up exactly when they do, not a moment sooner or later. I was awakened by that condition around 2 something this morning. My ‘fierce fears’ as I had been calling them, were lurking around; kind of like growly, snarly monsters that pretend they are going to eat me, until I turn on the light and they become stuffed toys. I was tempted to get up and write, but instead I felt guided to have a chat with God. I expressed gratitude for all I have in my life, while still giving myself permission to be more and do more. I sometimes feel stifled, as if I reach a certain point and level of ‘success’-the definition of which changes moment my moment, and then there is an impediment in the way, or so it seems. In the midst of this conversation, I fell asleep and dreamed I was speaking with Dr. Oz. I don’t recall the content, but it felt reassuring. When I awoke, I felt rested and the monsters had receded back into their caves, since they are mostly nocturnal.
On my way into work this morning, while still processing that wakeup call, I was stopped at a traffic light and my eyes were drawn to a Jiffy Lube sign with the words “Stop Worrying” on it emblazoned in lights. It was as if the Universe was speaking to my fears, asking me to unplug from them. Had I been driving, I would have breezed right past it. I pay attention to symbolic and literal signs and this one had an intention to turn my head around, whistling as I go.
http://youtu.be/yv-Fk1PwVeU Don’t Worry, Be Happy-Bobby McFerrin