Imagine what it must have been like when humans discovered that we could avert disaster by predicting possible future events…
For example, being able to predict that we need food during winter lead to us learn how to store grain, can fruits and vegetables, and create other life saving measures.
Today you can use this same ability to predict possible threats to your child’s safety or even to predict fluctuations in the stock market to protect your money.
But what happens when the power to imagine future events causes you think incessantly about possible negative outcomes? What happens when this amazing faculty turns into “worry?”
Worry is like a dog chasing its tail.
We worry about our health, the environment, the government, and our loved ones. We even worry about whether or not we’re good enough, happy enough, or fulfilled enough. We get lost in mental dramas and envision negative outcomes.
It’s endless and we don’t have nearly as much fun as the dog does.
But here’s the upside to worry…
Understanding what causes you to worry points to a deeper truth about the nature of your being.
Let me demonstrate…
There’s a wonderful story about a wise man who upon his death meets God at the pearly gates.
God says, “Who’s there?” and the wise man replies, “I Am.” God says, “Go Away.”
Confused, the wise man decides that he needs more meditation. So he leaves and meditates for a long time until he, at last, reaches enlightenment.
When he returns God says, “Who’s there?” the wise man again replies, “I Am.” “Go Away” says God.
So the wise man meditates some more and comes back a third time. God says, “Who’s there.” This time the wise man replies, “You Are.” And the heavenly gates swing open.
Everything that you are attached too, that is, all of the things that you identify yourself with… your job, cultural background, your kids…are all keeping you from realizing your true nature (God, Self, Atman, Buddha Nature, and so on) . The more you worry, the more attached you are.
So the next time you find yourself worrying, all you need to know are two things:
- That this is amazing faculty to imagine the future and possible outcomes is out of balance. Through recognizing this you will become less attached and distracted by worry.
- That worry is showing you what your attachments are; what you need to let go of in order to be free.
So you don’t need to waste your time trying to release worry, you only need to understand it.
The great Sufi poet and mystic, Rumi writes, “The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door [of your heart] laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” (From, “The Guest House”).
Krista Magidson has been teaching people how to enrich their lives with guided meditation, visualization, relaxation, and mindfulness techniques since 2001. She is the author of three guided meditation CD’s including, “Guided Meditation for Relaxation and Inner Peace.” Presently, she is the meditation instructor at the Redondo Beach Center for Spiritual Living, co-founder of Sanctuary of Peace Ministries, co-chair for the Peace Makers Gathering and Unity Breakfast, and was recently named “Lay Woman of the Year,” by the South Coast Interfaith Council. She has been happily married since 1997 and is the mother of two children. To learn more visit: http://www.kristamagidson.com