Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Worry and The Universe

Keys in Al-Anon; Step 1, 2 and 3 and 11. Worry is a habit. One of the worst kinds of habits.

Here's a news flash: What we are worried about today, won't matter a month from now. Maybe even tomorrow.

Worry is a sustained form of staying in your head and playing out what I call "Maybe drama plays" and "What if . . . scenarios." We see the event unfold in our minds and play out the dialogue. These events - if you have gotten into the "worry habit" - are never good, and are never about good.

Someone once said that this is a form of "negative goal setting." We all know what goal setting is right? It is determining what you want to have or have happen that would bring about a desired result or effect (or affect) in your life. The key word is obviously "desired." We want something. And we do this through mental imagery, affirmation, or strong intent. Our actions then match the visualization and in many cases we get what we expect.

Now, with worry, we visualize the negative event. And, unfortunately, we may get what we expect, but don't want to have happen.

Replace Negative Thoughts
Replace these negative worry thoughts. Displace them like running of cup of dirty water under a water facet. Push the dirty water out by running clean water into the cup. Your clean water will be thinking in terms of abundance, health, success, happiness.

When the "negative thoughts" begin to creep in, set up a habit where you say "Stop!" and begin to think what you want and not what you don't want.

News Flash: We worry about things that we think are so important. But unfortunately, 100 years from now, no one and I mean no one, will care. So give up the worry habit. Give up your problems that are being played out in your head.

If you have a real problem - I am not saying ignore it. I saying stop from playing it out in your head as to what might occur. Take action. But you can usually take better action from a position where you are thinking more clearly and when you are focused on the desired results and best possibility of the outcome.

Finally, give up worry and give it to God. Someone said, and I heard it more than once, "I give God only my big problems." I say, God is waaaaay too big for just the big stuff. Ask God for help on the small stuff too. It's his job and frankly, while I have not met him face to face to ask him him this, but I think he likes his job and would prefer to help you out than not to help you out.

Good luck and take care.


Syd said...

I think that What If is about the most useless couple of words. I can imagine all kinds of things. It is doubtful that any will play out in reality and if they do, I'll deal with them when they happen.

Anonymous said...

I can't sit in yesterday.

I can take action today.

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

Peace this Wed.


Catherine said...

Thanks for this post.

A lawyer friend of mine once had a rather cushy job at a think tank. One day I called and asked what he was up to. He said "I'm planning for contingencies such as: what if Arizona should no longer be one of the 50 states." Whoa! At least he was getting paid to wonder what if.

Last night my qualifier (boyfriend) went to a baseball game and around here, sports = drinking. I did my own thing and did not give him a thought. At 5:30AM I woke up, realized he had not come home and started a spiral of worry. "Bars are all closed, where is he? He could be in jail, he could be face-down in a ditch, he could be in the hospital... etc." And then I remembered how well I'd detached earlier in the evening and decided my time would be better spent sleeping. I gave myself a little high-5 for not what-if-ing but you're right, Joe, I think it is a form of wishful thinking.

For me, that what-if thinking comes from a place of fear. I want to be prepared for the worst, I want to be RIGHT, I want to avoid pain, avoid mistakes, avoid embarrassment. And I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting those things except that they'll happen anyway. Like Syd says, they're better met in reality than conjured in the imaginations.

(Unless, of course, Arizona secedes. Then all bets are off!)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading this blog and the comments from all of you wonderful people, Joe, Syd, Kevin, Catherine, for about 2 months now, and I need to let you know how grateful I am that you are all here doing this. I was starting the worry spiral just as I clicked on the blog and saw today's post. This is not the first time I've gotten just what I needed, when it was time, from this blog. Thank you, and blessings to you all, Sandy

Anonymous said...

Catherine said "For me, that what-if thinking comes from a place of fear. I want to be prepared for the worst, I want to be RIGHT, I want to avoid pain, avoid mistakes, avoid embarrassment".

OMHP, I have made a life-style of worrying for 50 years. My family can attest to that. And Catherine has nailed it. Growing up in an alcoholic home was the perfect environment to develop this time-consuming and useless behavior.

Since coming to Al-Anon these past few months I have actually learned to curbed this compulsion to worry. I didn't think this was possible, so bad ingrained in me this was. But I am getting better. I should not minimize the significance of this change. I can control myself. And this is a huge example of the potential to improve.

And, if I can do this I can see how much potential I have to improve my life.