Is worry running and ruining your life? Let’s face it, we worry too much. Worry often runs and ruins our life.
“We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Worrying is a form of thinking about the future in a way that leaves us feeling anxious, apprehensive, and often agitated. It’s a characteristic of the ego and the ego uses it to fuel itself because…it works.
Know that when worry goes unchecked, it can lead to anxiety—affecting both our mind and body.
The fear that thoughts generate—start out in our mind and it spreads throughout our body. It refers to thoughts, images, emotions, and actions of a negative nature that are repetitive and seem to be uncontrollable experiences. They’re created in the mind to avoid or solve a possible threat or consequence. Yes…worry is created in the mind by the ego and becomes a thought we believe. It spreads from there. When we’re interested in a thought, we follow it. Thus, we get distracted from our present moment experience as well as lost or stuck in the psychological mind and time.
Again, when we pay attention to thoughts, believe them, and go along with them, we get stuck falling for them. That’s the voice in our head, i.e., ego. Most people are completely taken over by the ego’s voice. Yet. there’s a higher dimension than this psychological place of thoughts…that we weren’t taught in school. Yes, we can think without thoughts worrying or tormenting us.
It’s important to know that worry comes and goes. Worry is unstable and will pass in due time. It’s caused by the ego and behaves like the ego. It dwells in the mind but can’t be solved in the mind because it’s created there. Thus, the mind is the problem. Remember, the ego is driving the mind. So, we must step out of the ego mind—the psychological place and into the present moment where we can let it pass on its own, while not fueling it.
Worry comes from negative thoughts that come and go. This is how the ego clutters our mind so it can fuel itself. When we identify with the thought, we feel stuck in the feeling of fear, lack, need, upset, not enough, and more. The ego lives in the fear that creates these imagined and painful experiences in the mind. We must look the other way…separate from it and not engage nor take it seriously.
Let’s consider a past experience for a moment. Have you ever experienced a time when you were minding your own business and “Worrying Wayne” showed up to tell you why you needed to worry about something that might happen in the future? This is the voice of fear and doubt, that is, our self-talk narration. It’s not us but it pretends to be us.
When people worry, they leave the present moment and go into the ego mind—they create anxiety.
It can become a habit that turns into a stressful way of life. Revisiting things that have already happened or haven’t happened is draining. Whether the thoughts are about the past or the future, there’s nothing we can do. There is no purpose other than the ego fueling itself with our energy. It’s hopeless, because we can’t change the past and the mind can’t deal with something that hasn’t happened. Unfortunately, that’s how most of us live. In fact, many people are so identified with this way of life that they feel lost without problems or worry.
This is what we do. We resist normal life situations. We even resist things in life, like getting a blemish on our face, or we worry when someone doesn’t smile at us. We get emotionally upset about it, we often react to it, and the reaction brings on even more pain. Because we feel pain, we reach for something to soothe the pain by numbing ourselves with all kinds of addictions, distractions, and excess. When we don’t want to feel the pain, we end up numbing ourselves from everything, whether it’s good or bad.
When we fall for the ego’s tricks, there’s no end or rest. At times it feels like torture. Haven’t you had enough? We’re the only one who can stop it. Thus, it’s our job to interrupt the ego and take our life back. Even when thinking has gone too far and it feels like we don’t have a choice, it’s still not true. If we’re willing to learn to be aware of our thoughts (witness, observe, discover) we can free ourselves from the trap and overcome them for good.
The truth is, we can choose to live with the ego and follow its intruding thoughts, or we can choose to live in inner peace. Too often, when the ego mind’s inner voice of fear and doubt tells us what it thinks is not okay, we believe it. That’s exactly what we must overcome. Rarely do we face a situation in life that’s extreme and might warrant concern. Life situations are naturally neutral; still the ego tells us there’s a problem. We even believe that somehow the voice inside us will make us feel better in an uncertain world, but it doesn’t.
Instead, we can discover our natural state of being in ourselves…to be free of it. So, how do we go about overcoming the voice of worry, fear & doubt? Let’s investigate…
Do you believe this voice when it tells you there’s a reason to worry?
If so…next time, don’t believe it because it’s not true. Look away or ignore the ego’s tricks because it’s time to overcome them by outgrowing the ego’s voice that wants to scare us into living its life rather than our own.
Remember, we are only tempted because we’re tempt-able. Our “interest” in the thought fuels it.
So, instead…don’t “mind” it, when it comes around because you know this is what it does. It will come and go, day in and day out. We can expect it to repeat and not take it seriously. Yes…we can all return to our natural, peaceful state of joy and being. Don’t wait to be happy. It’s here now.
Consider this example of someone else experiencing it coming and going. Have you ever had a friend or family member leave you an urgent message telling you how desperate they are…as if their life is over—maybe due to the loss of a job, money, a break-up, etc., yet by the time you return their call, they’re completely over the upset and on to something else?
That’s what the ego does. The upsetting thoughts come and go…only to return and repeat coming and going. It has nothing to do with us. We don’t come and go…it does. We experience it…we watch it, yet if we stop taking it seriously, it will stop coming around to scare us. If we stop fueling it with our interest and tempt-ability, it will go somewhere else to fuel, while leaving us alone and in peace.
Realize we always have a choice to go along or not. Try this next time you’re tempted to worry. Without going into thought, ask yourself what problems you have in this moment right now, without going into your mind. You’ll find that all our problems come from going “in thought” in the mind to past and future stories. What we do is retrieve problems from our ego mind as well as from others. We recall past situations in the mind to ruminate over or create new ones to worry about that might happen in the future.
Have you ever practiced what you were going to say, before you said it or maybe even when you were waiting for someone to stop talking? We often have a habit of rehearsing what we’re going to say in fear of not being right or perfect while at the same time…not being in the present moment. Know that these thoughts are only little energy entities floating around that we attract, cling to, and expand. We don’t have to live in a mind of made-up worries, problems and stories. It’s just a habit. Instead, we can live here now. We can accept what is and do what’s needed, when it’s needed—if it’s needed.
Try this now…Notice the space or gap between the next two thoughts. This is how you can recognize the higher dimension that transcends the ego narrations, the voice of fear and doubt.
Overthinking is pointless, draining, and destructive. Instead, we must observe every thought. All our boundary resources, mind, emotions, and physical bodies need to rest. We are only supposed to use the mind as needed. We don’t even need thoughts. They’re either about past things that have already happened or future things that haven’t happened and probably never will happen. Yes, they’re about what was or might be rather than what is. Nothing new comes out of thoughts. They reinforce the false belief that we’re a separate false self and continuously remind us that things aren’t the way we want them to be. That’s why we need to let go of the self-talk.
Next time you are troubled by an intruding thought—consider delaying it by scheduling a focused time for thinking about it later, such as Friday at three o’clock. Just tell the ego, “No, ego…later works best,” then give it an appointed time. It’s best to limit the amount of time spent as well. This delay will relax your mind to deal with the problem at a later time, in the present moment that’s needed to resolve any conflict or concern.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog. Please share it with someone else. It may be exactly what they need to hear to be free too. Come back for next month’s blog and…
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About the Author – Trina Carroll-Houk is a spiritual teacher, counselor, and founder of Breaking Free Boundaries, LLC who specializes in self-awareness, mindfulness, and the spiritual dimension of being. Her goal is to help people improve their quality of life so they can experience inner peace, meaningful purpose, and fulfillment. Trina represents a movement focused on helping people release what limits them from transforming into awakened beings with a higher sense of spiritual consciousness.
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