“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie ten Boom
I come from a long line of worriers. My world was steeped in their distress. Maybe they worried because of the events of their time… living in poverty, experiencing many wars. Losing loved ones and friends to sickness. Survival was their mantra.
But as they grew it seemed their worries only grew, never diminishing. And that was the world I knew. If I was sick, the worry was would I survive….of course I was sickly as a young child, born with asthma and almost died of pneumonia when I was one. And I began to worry at an early age, as children listen and take in the feelings around them.
The daily messages were life sucks, nothing ever goes right, we can’t catch a break…the not-so-positive messages that were not always in your face, but presented more subtly. So we were raised with that subliminal message to think the worst would always happen. Maybe it was a survival technique. If you didn’t raise your hopes, then they couldn’t be dashed too harshly.
But in living with these negative messages of circumstance all the time, I would never think to aim too high…I was afraid of the long fall. And life was predetermined so just suck it up and live with the misery. As I look back on it, I realized how sad some of those worriers were. They did not have much of a life because they would never dare to strive for it. And I seemed to always be settling for what was thrust upon me having no hope to make it better.
I am not sure when the shift happened….it was a slow turn where I would work at worrying less. But I’d get only so far away from the Worry Road, and then something would happen. The worry would suck me in dropping me back on the Worry-Go-Round until I was dizzy with it again.
But I can tell you when I was freed from the endless, needless cycle or worry. It began when I started to slow, to just be with myself. It continued with daily practices of meditation, leaning in to emotions and then letting them go. When I dropped self-judgment and immersed myself in doing what I loved, I found happiness surrounded me, a beacon shining from deep within.
Currently I find any worries have been pushed into my subconscious and show up in my dreams from time to time. So when I catch these worries, I am gentle with myself as I acknowledge there is nothing to fear and then I bid it adieu. I am not perfect with this…nor will I ever be. It is a process to lessen the worries that will show up from time to time. But they cannot last long as each dawn that beacon chases away any darkness that wants to linger.
As a side note….I have recently come across many readings about worry. It was also one of the lessons I worked through during Sandra Pawula’s Mini-Mindfulness Challenge. I liked the gentle way she approached diminishing worry. If you have a chance check out her blog, and this wonderful set of lessons.
Special Note: Queen Anne’s Lace signifies haven, home, comfort; antidotes for worry.
The picture below is my gift to you this week. Please download it and use it to spread light.
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