The Wasted Enterprise of Worry

In the grand scheme of things, I/we tend to worry about stuff that is way outside the span of our control or has already happened and we can’t change history. We do reinvent the past through our faulty memories or a desperate need to reconcile our actions and thoughts but we don’t rewrite it. Worrying is a wasted enterprise in most circumstances yet we can become masters of it. I wonder if worrying begets worrying. If we begin fretting about one thing does it make us more likely to fret about another and a another? Is it possible that we open a floodgate of concern?
I admit that I can be a worry wart if I let my mind go there. Even knowing that the outcome has been decided or I have no influence over the result doesn’t curb the anxiety. If I begin thinking about finances and have concerns about a purchase that I made last week and winder whether it was wise, I am soon wondering about my health or my kids or the state of the world. Full blown, out of control worry ensues and a gale of unnecessary anxiousness begins swirling through my head and I am soon swooning.

I can’t seem to hold the nagging nettles at bay through logic. It doesn’t help to say ” Stop worrying. There isn’t anything you can do about it. Whatever will be, will be.” Rational thought and reasoning doesn’t seem to work. I have tried to blow up the worry with hyperbole. ” What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if …?” ” I blew that chance and I will never get another” ” This headache means I have a tumor”. Intentional exaggeration creates exasperation and rather than showing the ridiculousness of the effort to change the unchangeable it opens a cavern to fall into. I can feel my heart rate rise and my palms get sweaty when I try to trick the worry away.

I have found that breathing through the anxiousness and becoming still and focused on something else lifts the scales and I begin to see reality. I perceive the same circumstances without the edge of concern and fear. I don’t ignore the situation but breathing and meditation brings a softness to the knife edge and the physical and emotional scars don’t get as deep.

My meditation practice is sketchy. When I do it, it is unstable. I fall into a delicious rhythm and then find myself down a rabbit hole of thoughts and need to pull myself out. Breathing in through my nose 1,2,3,4 hold 1,2,3,4, exhale 1,2,3,4 repeat I quell the demon. Listening to the air, feeling it in your nostrils, acknowledging it flow through you arrests the cycle of concern and allows me to catch up and be present, not regretting the past or plotting the future.

Worrying takes my breath away and breathing takes away the worry. I like the symmetry of it.

Make Today Remarkable, by breathing,
B

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