What’s Behind Worrying?

What’s Behind Worrying?

I have been visited by a lot of worrisome thinking lately.

I am leading a trip to Israel soon, and I find myself continuously worrying about being exhausted, ineffective and unable to enjoy myself.

This week I found myself worrying about whether the family ski trip was going to work out and what will we do if it snows on my son’s bar mitzvah.

During Chanukah break my son said to me, “Mom, I can’t believe people actually pay you to learn how to not worry and stress.”

After considering he had a point and judging myself for all my worrisome thinking, I turned to him and said, “Look at that, even your mom is human.”

However, I began to wonder “what’s up?”

Then it hit me. I’m afraid of experiencing discomfort. I’m afraid of being tired. I’m afraid of everyone not being happy. I’m afraid of things not going according to plan.

Truth be told, the only reason I worry is because I have a belief that certain experiences are not ok so I fear having them.

But what if all experiences just are? What if all experiences are just thought-creations in the moment? What if I didn’t have to fear exhaustion because it’s just thought in the moment? What if I didn’t have to fear the distress of family members being unhappy because it’s just thought in the moment?

What if I didn’t fear any feeling because I knew it was just coming from thought energy running through my body and would eventually pass, bringing with it a different feeling?

I wouldn’t have to worry about controlling my feelings, preventing certain feelings or feeling my feelings. What a relief!

So what’s behind worry? A whole lot of thought about fearing being uncomfortable if we don’t know how something will turn out.

The outcome isn’t really what we worry about (although we delude ourselves into thinking that’s why we worry). We worry that we will experience distress. If distress is just thought in the moment, there is no need to fear or worry about it.

Since I had this insight it hasn’t seemed logical to worry about being tired on my trip. I won’t get out of being human, but I can embrace the human experience.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

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