Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coaching: why worrying wastes time

so i'm sitting here chewing my finger nails and looking at the clock and tapping my foot and generally having butterflies flutter around through my whole body. Why? Because I'm worried about my cat.

I know that might sound trite and silly and weird but it's true.

See the fact is i come from a long line of Crazy People. And i mean that in an endearing way. We are the kind of people who get emotionally attached to things and people and animals very easily. When I was a child I once didn't throw out a marshmallow peep for WEEKS because I didn't want to hurt it's feelings.

I told you, crazy.

So today I had to put my cat in to the vet to get spayed. And of course I am sitting here worrying. She's been there since 8:00AM and since my husband was the one who dropped her off I don't have the useful information that I would have if i had been the one to take her in myself (things like when the surgery is, when they will call me to get my results, when i can call tomorrow to pick her up, etc). I don't mean this in a mean or diminishing way, I just mean it as an observation: that in my experience men sorta forget to get the little details and instead opt to get the task done without pausing to fill in the rest of that "stuff" like information lol.

So I'm assuming that she's in her surgery now and that's what's causing me to tap my feet a lot and drink tea and sit here when I should be doing things like errands.


Worry does this to us though in life. It's just this pervasive thing that shows up and takes over and while it's in your house you can't ignore it or pretend it's not there. So you sit down on the couch with it and keep it entertained hoping that you can eventually get the visit overwith and then Worry will be on it's way.

Unfortunately that's not how it works. With worry, the more attention we give it, the bigger and bigger it gets. And pretty soon it takes over and it's commanding what we're doing and where we're going and how we're acting and what we're feeling and that is just Not Cool.

Worry is one of the only things in life where spending a lot of time doing it is unproductive and makes things worse. Worrying about something doesn't make it better, doesn't give it a chance to turn out safe or well or good, it just eats away at the person doing the worrying, it just erodes their mood and their happiness and most importantly it eats away at their sanity.

When we worry we don't achieve anything at all - we just get stuck in a cycle of negativity, we get all wrapped up in ourselves and our thoughts and our FEAR of the unknown that it just grows and grows and grows and arrests our lives.

I know it's hard but the truth is that it's best for everyone to stop worrying. IF something bad is going to happen, worry alone will NEVER stop that from being so, it won't stop the event and it won't make it any better. In fact, it has potential to make us feel worse ("i was so worried this would happen, why didn't i do something about it??"). Worry doesn't have the power to create positive results, it doesn't.

The trick is to find acceptance. Find acceptance and then let go.

Sure, something bad can happen but if you have already committed to a decision, you cannot allow room in your space for Worry to come along too. You just can't. If you've made up your mind, you have to detach from the place of "what if" and go along for the ride ready and willing to see what comes of it. Detach. Come up with a plan for a worst case scenario so you know exactly what to do in case something terrible DOES happen and then let go and trust your plan. Obsessing about things never helps at all.

Our brains think in circuits, the more we think a certain way the more our brain gets accustomed to thinking in that pattern. We are training our brains to react and respond in certain manners. If you worry a lot, your brain learns to audible to worry as a response to new situations where you aren't sure how to react. Stop the pattern. When you catch yourself worrying pick something new and proactive and full of trust and empowerment. Say to yourself, "no matter what the outcome, everything will be fine." and BELIEVE that.

You must find a place within you whether you call it God or the Universe or your Self or your sense of Higher Self and you must believe that that place is capable of getting you through the tough parts of life. Believe in it, have faith in it, reflect back upon tragedies and realize that you SURVIVED those experiences, you made the best choices for yourself that you could at the time and you will always do so again in the future. and then release the worry. It's just an indulgence.

So that's my goal for today, to stop worrying about Zoey.

It doesn't mean i care any less, not at all. I love her, i care for her with my whole entire heart but I don't want this procedure to halt my life or take over my sanity. It is one experience and i made the choice to go through with it so I must trust that decision. If, Heaven forbid, something happens I will have to deal with that then; but that is true whether i worry myself sick about it now or not.

What are you worrying about in your life and how will you take steps to make the worry stop today?

Snuggle Duck