I have a strong worry gene in my family, my grand mother was a queen worrier. She would lose sleep at night, get skin irritations, and take on the problems of the world. She was a beautiful and sensitive lady, but her sensitivity lead her to countless sleepless nights. My grandfather on the other hand, was a calm and collected man who would simply go about his way. He left the worrying in life up to my grandmother.
I have a mixture of the gene pool, I can and do worry over the simplest things, but I also can usually sleep at night even in the midst of my most difficult moments. I also usually take on life changes head on, as a friend described it to me recently “Fleur, there are people that choose the paved pathway in life, where they can drive through life on auto pilot. Then there are people who choose the dirt road, full of pot holes and diversion, and you need to be fully present to deal with it all – you fall into that category.” Thanks. But it is true, as the paved pathways are appealing, but for some of us they are also decidedly boring.
So dealing with the potholes is not always easy, especially when I know, like my grandmother, I can be a worry wart and focus on all of the what if’s, but’s and maybes’. Usually when I find that I am worrying about something in particular, it is because I have forgotten I have choices. It is easy to get caught up in the mind set that things happen to you, that you have little or no control over, but in reality you can (and do) choose to do certain things, to take the dirt road, or sometimes, like me, I choose I need a break and take the paved pathway for a little light relief.
Perhaps one of the greatest things with choice, is that you always have options, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Whatever it is that is causing you worry – you can always accept it as it is, leave it behind, or choose to change it. One of the three is usually an option.
Fortunately for me, I also married a man bit like my grandfather, a solid as a rock kinda guy who can always see the positive in things, and is an expert listener. I notice that when I share whatever it is I am worrying about, as if it is magic, the load lessens almost instantly. The worry is simply all about perception. Taking your worries, problems, or concerns in to relationship is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lighten your own backpack of woes, and maybe get a different perspective by simply listening to your own story. Sure, it doesn’t take it away, but it does make it feel a whole lot easier.
I also notice that when I am feeling that something is starting to consume my thoughts, it is time for a little time out. I get back into my body, I practice yoga or go for a run, the grounding of that is often enough to take the “loung” (Tibetan word for wind energy) out of my head. I breath, and breath some more, and breath again. And I eat some good hearty food that is earthy and wholesome (notice when you are worried or stressed you often reach for the sugar or other stimulants, it simply keeps in you in a heightened state of anxiety).
I am no master at combatting the worry wart part of my personality, but I do know I am getting better and better at coming back to centre. And that’s the point right? We may never completely alleviate the parts of us that we would like to be different, but we can work over time to get quicker at recognising the times we go out of alignment.
And to finish, I would like to share with you perhaps my favourite quote from Shanti Deva (a great buddhist master)
If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?