Monday, April 9, 2012

"Worry Is A Misuse Of Imagination"

I stumbled upon this quote by Dan Zadra at just the right is always the case when eyes are open.  A series of events had turned me into a serious worrier practically overnight.

I have friends, family members, and clients who worry.  I talk with them about how worry comes from our thinking.  I remind them that we are creating...we are painting the scene.  I know that if they hear the depth of this message, it will free them.  One finds it ridiculous to live in the feelings of self created possible futures once they realize they are creating it all.  This works like magic if the person listens and hears something from their own wisdom.  Poof, they are in the present moment again where new thought waits to bring new feelings.

This is all true, but because I am not a worrier, I found at times that I felt a frustrated when others held so strongly to their worrisome thinking.  There was a part of me that lacked a little understanding...a little empathy.  I didn't realize the nuances of this at the time, but the thinking was there.  I recognize it now, because of my recent divergence into the world of worry.  I suddenly realized how awful, how nagging, these thoughts of worry can be...the toll it can take on the human spirit.

What happened was this:  Our family cat had died, so we recently got two kittens to cheer everyone up.  Suddenly both kittens got of them became very ill.  I was doing all that I could with medications, steamy shower times, TLC etc.  The one kitten was not responding and was getting worse for about three days.  I thought of him constantly.  I thought about how I would tell my kids if he died.  I thought about where I would bury him.  I thought about how maybe I didn't get him into the vets soon enough.  I thought and thought until my stomach was sick and my head was spinning.

At about this time my young son came down with the stomach flu.  I spent two sleepless nights with him, consoling him while I worried some more.  Will he get better soon?  Will he need to go to the hospital?  Will he eat today?

Next, I got a text from my daughter who was visiting friends in California.  She sprained her ankle and was letting me know how much it hurt.  She was hoping it wasn't broken.  That was thinking had won.  My worry increased by ten-fold as I completed busy work throughout the day and as I attempted to sleep at night.  I was a wreck & try as I might to take my own advice about worry, it simply did not seem to work.

As I lay in bed one night, feeling perfectly awful, I realized I was going to be sick.  Suddenly I got mad at myself.  I reminded myself that I know more than I am illustrating.  I absolutely refused at that point to let this worry effect me.  In this moment of determination, my personal worry, dissipated for just long enough for me to have an insight.
Beyonce...she has an alter ego...I think it's Sasha Fierce or something.  Ya, she does...but why am I thinking about this?  Then it came to me...a crazy idea that packed a whole lot of well being.  I should create an alter ego too.  So, I did!

I sat there in bed.  I named myself Coco Hawthorne.  I was a vet-tech and I took care of sick cats every day.  It did not impact me and I had hope that all would be well.  I had a lot to do, and not time for worry.  I had kids at home and I was strong.  I was in charge and I did it with ease.

As I did this crazy brainstorming, a great thing happened!  I felt fine again.  I was not the old me anymore.  I had distracted myself and come to my senses.  I know that feeling better had nothing to do with Coco or Beyonce.  It was the act of following an insight that came on the heals of me remembering my own well being.  I was in such a place of despair, that I did not question it...anything was better than intense worry even if it seemed nuts. 

For me, the lesson here is two-fold.  One, we all get caught up in our thinking.  When it grips us, it feels real, and it feels big.  We also all know our way out, and reminding ourselves of this seems to be a brilliant first step.  Two, insights and wisdom come in many packages.  Who are we to judge?  We must have the faith it takes to follow them even when (or especially when) they seem outside of normalcy.  No matter how insane the insight seems, one must give way to it.

Hope you remember in your day to use your imagination wisely! :)

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