As much as we think the mind is ‘all that,’ it’s really only a product of our attention. What we give our attention to grows. So when we worry, that worry escalates, and becomes more and more real in our mind and body even if the thing we are worrying about is not actually happening.
Let’s say something awful happens. You may not love it and may wish it weren’t true, but it is true and it’s here. So, you deal with it. Whatever it is. You will figure it out. The reason you can know this is that you have dealt with everything that has ever happened to you in your life so far. No matter how big or small, somehow you overcame it. Whether you asked for help or someone took care of it for you or you were able to sort it out on your own, you made it through. So, you can assume that whatever else shows up in our life, you will make it through.
With that being said, why worry about something that is not actually happening right now? The problem is, when we worry, we experience it as if it were true. Maybe our head aches or our body tenses up or our stomach gets upset and we can’t eat or we eat too much or we feel nervous and can’t concentrate or we have obsessive thoughts playing over and over in our head. All because something MIGHT happen. Let’s say it does happen. Now, we have to deal with it a 2nd time!!! Let’s say it doesn’t happen. We STILL had to deal with it the first time! What if we never gave it our attention and it doesn’t happen. We never had to deal with it at all. This is the freedom we gain from letting go of worry.
Let’s say you are terrified that a lion is going to come after you. You are afraid to leave your house. You can’t sleep. You can’t eat. You jump at every noise. You are filled with worry and fear even though there is no lion right now. Your mind is convinced that the lion is coming at any moment and everything gets affected in some way. Now, let’s say the lion does come. Because you have spent so much time and energy worrying about this happening well before it did, you are now emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted, making it much harder to deal with the lion now that it is here. You have been experiencing the lion LONG before the lion actually showed up.
On the other hand. Let’s say you are not worried about the lion. You are living your best life. Doing things you love. Eating healthy. Spending time with good friends. Getting good sleep. Exercising, etc. You haven’t even thought about a lion. You are just enjoying life. Then a lion comes along. Yes, it’s a bummer that you have to deal with this. However, you are much more prepared to face the lion because you have strength, nourishment, positivity and rest on your side. Your mind is sharp and your body is strong so you can think and move quickly and precisely.
The best thing you can do to the conquer the ‘lions’ that may or may not show in your life is to live your best life. Do what you love and have fun. Surround yourself with good people. Dream big dreams. Take bold actions. Be good to yourself and others. Eat well. Get lots of rest. And if that lion ever shows up, you can look it right in the eye and say, "I’m ready for you.”