I don’t like worriers. You know the type. They worry constantly and tell everyone their worry. My mother-in-law is a worrier. She says she can’t help it. My mother was a worrier. We would be driving on the freeway and she would think she saw something happening on the road (often it wasn’t anything particular) and she would make this noise like sucking in air when you’re scared. Used to frighten me to death when I was driving. I would say, “WHAT, WHAT?” and she’d say, “I just thought that car ahead was going to do something.” The other car hadn’t often done anything, she would just project the trouble.
Because my mother was a worrier, I decided not to worry. I wasn’t going to be one of “them.” I didn’t worry when my kids fell, or when they took risks climbing up high. It drove me crazy when caregivers would constantly nag other kids and say “Be careful!” I thought, “How will they learn if they don’t take some risk? If they fall, they’ll learn.” I didn’t think it was good for kids to constantly feel worry.
I didn’t worry about dirt. Ever. Thank goodness for that. My life would have been a constant nag fest if I had worried about dirt. I didn’t worry about many things and frankly I decided to try not to worry about the big things like money, parents health, etc. I just tried to tell myself that I can choose to be worried or not and went along my way.
Don’t get me wrong. Occasionally I worried. Like about finances, when we were broke and it was Christmas. Or when my mom’s money was running out to take care of her physical needs. You know, the really big things…I thought.
The other day, it came to me that I’m actually a worrier. I can’t believe it. I’m so mad. I just never thought of myself as a worrier since I don’t like to feel worry. Anyway here’s what I figured out. I don’t see movies with characters and stories I’ll feel worried about. I’m worried about money all the time. I’m worried about my physical pain. I’m worried about my kids finding happiness. Geesh, where did all this worry come from? Why is any of this important?
Because I realized I sometimes react defensively to others because I’m actually worried by their opinions and what they say. I’m worried about their views and the impact they might have in the world.
When I operate from unconscious worry, I’m actually not in the present moment. I’m not really listening to the other person, since I’m projecting into the future something that may or may not happen based on my past experience, or my future worries. Where is the present moment? It’s not in the worry.
Worry is the comfortable state-the habit that keeps us out of the present. Being present means a loss of control, so if I worry, I can possibly affect the outcome. Of course this isn’t true. I can not affect outcome with worry. I don’t want to project on to others my worry and I don’t want to live my life being worried. I want to live in the present moment. But I don’t think I’m still ready to see certain movies. I just hate to worry.