The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

Where Did Worry Ever Get You?

In Conscious Living, Study Group on June 25, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Neo_20At last evenings class, we discussed the flower of Calm, Vriesea heterandra. During the conversation we came to the subject of worry and anxiety – the key conditions that this flower remedies. As we got talking, I asked the question… “Where did worry ever get you?’ and as we continued, a number of beliefs about the subject became evident. Beliefs that justified the presence of worry in our lives!

For many people, ‘life is full of worry’ and apparently, ‘that’s just the way it is’. Worry for many is seen as a kind of ‘adult’ thing, a necessary element that guarantees sensibility. Worry has become synonymous with watchfulness, alertness and vigilance – a ‘sharpened mind’ that safeguards ourselves, our loved ones and lifestyles from potential harm. But, as we discussed in class, worry is anything but sensible.

The flower of Calm appears when excessive thinking is present. One common reason the flower appears for use is when people use worry when they care about someone, such as parents who worry about their children. For the most part, children who come under the care of a ( constantly ) worried parent are not better off nor safer… it is common for these children to feel neglected, ignored, smothered and suffocated with the fears of their overbearing parent(s). Additonally, they grow up to then become highly anxious about their own wellbeing because of earlier fostering and conditioning. The flower of Affirmation, another Vriesea shows up in such cases where someone is ‘trained’ to worry about themselves through negative affirmation.

As we inspected the mental affliction of worry, we found that worrying about someone is not necessarily the same thing as caring! In fact, worry is blind. And is the opposite of care. Worry is ‘blind’ because it tends to focus on the possible scenario(s) first and the actual reality last… if ever! Often people who grew up under the guidance of perpetually vigilant parents feel that their actual needs weren’t met at all and they feel neglected despite the overlay of extra attention to their so-called wellbeing. And this is because the parents have focussed on possibilities rather than working to the realities itself – i.e. a child who wants to go to a party, etc.

Worry is not the same thing as caring because care starts with the individual, assessing and addressing their actual needs and current circumstance. Worry is focused on what could happen to the individual – in fact, worry focuses on ALL of the things that ‘could’ happen or ‘might’ go wrong as though they WERE going to happen. Worry seems sensible, factoring for all situations, weighing up these worst case scenarios ( and then once highly emotional ) making a ‘clear decision’ based upon the information we have stuffed into our minds… ooops, I mean ‘pondered sensibly’.

This is not to say that parents should not worry about their children and just ‘let them be’. This is not what I am suggesting! For example, fear is applicable when we step out from the curb into the path of a fast moving car. In that moment of danger, fear is valuable, life-giving and the most correct instinct to have. It’s the ‘right’ emotion because it’s the one that causes us to react and get clear of danger’. Worry has moments where it is useful also… but just like fear, worry is unhealthy when it’s use becomes an ongoing lifestyle!

When fear, worry and anxiety creep beyond the moment that they belong to and becomes a way of life, then you have to question your method-for-living! ( Especially, when you are looking for some peace-of-mind! ) These emotions feel bad because they are a signal that you need to change your direction away from what you are currently doing!

But how often do we do we change our direction when we begin to worry. No we just keep on worrying! Or, change our focus and worry about something else! Wealth, health, life, self and we never really take a rest.

As I mentoined earlier, worry is blind to reality because it blends extra detail into the current situation – which is often the cause of heated argument amongst teenagers and ‘caring’ parents. Worry is blind because of it’s focus on possibility and not on the direct reality. And in this way, the central focus and reason for concern goes missing. All that is left are the dangers and details and ‘a big problem’.

So, what do we do if worrying about ourselves, our lives and our loved ones is blind and the incorrect mentality to live life by?

By adopting a calm approach to life, we can ‘see the situation’ far better than if our mind is full of extra details that aren’t even happening. But wouldn’t “being calm all the time lead to ignorance?’ Would having a calm, clear mind lead to ignorance of responsibilities and the needs of others?

By cultivating a calm mind, you will be able to notice stress, problems and discomfort as soon as they arise. By being vigilant, by perpetually focussing-in- the-negatve, you will be blind to disharmonious things when they actually do enter your environment. And that’s why many people, live their whole lives in the presence of stress and heartache – because their mind is so full of possibilities that the reality can just walk right up and stretch out on the couch in your living room.

Q. Where did worrying ever get you?

Q. What security did worry ever give you?

More later.

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