“Doubt is a dream-killer and fear is an internal prison cell that bars you off from the world and all the glorious possibilities just waiting for you.” – Dr. Lissa Rankin
Why is it so hard to let go of our fearful thinking?
Why do we clutch onto the very thing that holds us back?
What would happen if we just decided one day to wash our hands of a certain fear, worry or insecurity for good?
Would NOT worrying about our health/relationships/success harm us? Would we suddenly not be vigilant enough? I mean, when we worry about something, we’re just trying to keep ourselves safe, right?
In the end, would absolving ourselves of worry, gasp, kill us?
By letting go, could we free up all sorts of mental space for positive thoughts? And spend our days feeling much lighter, happier, and most of all, free?
I’m asking for a friend.
(21 Days of Praise has been postponed a bit, but oh yes, it’s still happening. I’ve just got to go to the Grand Canyon, Colorado, and Sedona first. ENERGY VORTEXES, PEOPLE.)
KateJune 23, 2014 at 7:58 am
I find myself asking this question a lot. Want to hear something crazy? When I finally sold/moved out of my old house which had a lot of issues, I felt a huge sense of relief. All the stress of living there melted away, and other people noticed. Suddenly random people in my building at work would strike up conversations with me in the elevator, or strangers on the train would actually be nicer to me. I think I started to exude a different type of energy—I calmed down, I felt less tense.
Some of my old stress has been replaced by new worries, and when I get overwhelmed by anxiety or fear, I remind myself of what it was like to notice such a huge difference in how people reacted to me after I moved out that house. I want to always exude that calm, happy, easy-going energy. It’s much easier said than done, but I think just being aware of it and striving for it makes a difference.
J.MillJune 23, 2014 at 11:49 am
That’s beautiful. I feel worry and stress like WOAH now and want to turn your story into a mantra: Move out of the house, daily.
MeganJune 23, 2014 at 9:18 am
I’ve recently read the book Buddha’s Brain and other books on brain stuff (love the brain stuff! So interesting!), and everything drives home how our brains are wired to perceive negative so much more strongly than positive. We’ve all heard that, right – but remembering that helps me negotiate with the “Gosh darn, why can’t I just focus on the positive more?” voice when it kicks in. Remembering that I’m wired to perceive threats in any form frees more space for just taking it easy on myself, which helps let the positive.
HeatherJune 23, 2014 at 11:18 am
My mother has been seriously ill for a couple years now and as a professional worrier, I hit my stride. I found myself wrapped in anxiety 24/7. My worry was bringing on nausea and nearly constant headaches. It took a couple realizations: no matter how much/strong I worried it would not increase my mother’s lifespan by a single day and recognizing the negative effects that worrying was having on me. I was able to let go of the worry, finally, after a lifetime of Olympic-level worrying. Every now and then I’ll notice that my breath rate is high and feel this weight on my shoulders. When I notice this and sit still for a minute contemplating it, I recognize it as that old companion, worry (it’s already a very foreign feeling to me). Then I am able to talk myself through the recognition that worry itself does nothing for me or the world and let it go. It’s been such a world-changing realization for me and it has changed how I parent, how I relate to others, and how I live. It’s very liberating.
whoorlJune 23, 2014 at 12:57 pm
I relate to your comments today SO MUCH. You have no idea. xoxo
ErinJune 24, 2014 at 11:43 am
I sometimes feel like worrying is the “responsible” thing to do, or that I’m being foolish to not worry. Obviously I have some work to do on this! Loving the Mindful Mondays!
MeganJune 25, 2014 at 9:00 am
I saw this quote today, and it reminded me of this post.
Excessive worrying does create a type of hell.
“There’s another story that you may have read that has to do with what we call heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad. It’s a story about how those things don’t really exist except as a creation of our own minds.
It goes like this: A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the roshi looks him in the face and says: “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?” The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the roshi won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the roshi. Then the roshi says, “That’s hell.” The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill his eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the roshi says, “That’s heaven.”
DesireeJune 29, 2014 at 6:06 am
Thank you for this, it has been on my mind a lot lately too. I’m working on noticing my negative thoughts/worries and then actively imagining things going right, because even though I think I anticipate every scenario, I don’t seem to imagine the positive ones very much. It’s a work in progress.
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