Dec 21, 2009

Worry- A Prayer for what you do not want (Revised)

The cause of worry can often be linked it to indecision, inaction, or attachment to outcome.

Worrying is a strong indication that we are placing our attention on what we do not want. Energy flows where our attention goes, so when we place our attention on what we do not want, the energy of our intent is set in motion to create what we do not want!

Feeling bad in any way is often a result of placing your attention on something that you do not want. When I feel bad I make it a point to check in with my intent and ask:

“Have I intended to feel this way?” My answer is usually no! If this is the case, then I ask myself:”Why would I choose to feel this way?” (If it does not serve me in this moment, then why would I choose it?)

Then I ask: “If I did not intend to feel this way, then why do I feel this way?

Do I feel this way because I am resisting making a decision? Do I feel this way because I am resisting taking action, or am I resisting because either consciously, or unconsciously, I want things to stay the way they are?

Whenever I am feeling that I don’t like the way that things are, I make a habit of asking myself: “Why am I attached to wanting things to be any different than they are?” If I am attached to any outcome, then I inevitably set myself up for disappointment.

Then I ask myself: Do I need to make a decision and follow it up with action? If the answer is yes, and I follow up with action and then my worry is often reduced or eliminated.

If my worry persists, then I ask myself: Is this issue really under my control? The illusion of being in control often leads to suffering. Being in control is an artifice of the mind that can keep one from accepting things the way they are. If we cannot accept things the way they are, then we resist the way things are. When we resist what cannot be changed we suffer.
The Serenity Prayer frames this in a beautiful way:

“Great Spirit, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Another great quote comes to mind here:

"Learn to hope that everything shall come to pass exactly as it does"

We all want things to turn out the way we want, but the fact is that they often do not! It seems that somewhere in my domestication I was taught that worrying was a method of problem solving. I once thought that worrying would lead me to answers so I could avoid what I did not want. I no longer believe this to be true. Worry is like a prayer for what I don’t want! I have learned that worrying is a mechanisim that leads the mind to search for and create results that I do not want. This leads me to wonder:

If I worry about something, then how can I possibly cause what I do not want to happen?

When I worry I am fearing an undesirable outcome. By imagining an undesirable outcome, I invoke the energy of what I do not want, which inevitably supports the creation of what I do not want! We are all masters of creating and what we create depends greatly on what we focus on. Our feelings are guides that can tell us how we are focusing our attention. If we feel bad then are usually focusing on what we do not want. When this happens I change my focus to what I want and this shifts my perspective which inevitably leads to more positive and resourceful thinking, acting and being. When our thinking, acting and being is aligned with our intention and values and our dream we can create whatever we want!

When you catch yourself worrying it is good to ask : Am I focusing on what I do not want? Is this issue in my control? If not, and there is no decision or action required, just let it go and have trust that the universe knows what it is doing, a divine plan is unfolding whether we understand it, agree with it or not. When we have trust, we open ourselves to seeing the plan in a positive, supporting and resourceful way. When we do not trust or do not accept what we can’t change, we become at odds with the world, we resist it, fight it, reject it, and sometimes end up in a futile struggle that only leads to suffering. The choice is simple, focus on what you want and have trust in your ability to create what you want in life. Trust cultivates harmony. Resistance & distrust cultivates disharmony and conflict. It is your choice, the results you get in life will speak for themselves. If the issue is within your control, do your best, make a decision, take action, and follow-up with the plan on a consistent basis. When you have done your best, let it go. Detaching from outcome is an act of trust that enables one to conserve energy that would otherwise be wasted worrying or focusing on what you don’t want.