I come from a long line of world-class worriers – you probably do, too. We consider it a natural part of being a human. But what if it could be different?
I found a wonderful book about how to worry less. It’s called “Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway” by Susan J. Jeffers. I’m not talking about the real fear you feel in a dangerous situation. I mean the fears that live in your mind – spinning around until they become a part of your everyday life – diminishing your joy bit by bit.
Jeffers guides you through some simple processes to get to the other side of crazy. And – they work! One of her techniques is to deeply feel the worst-case outcome of your worst fear. It might be awful – really horrible. And – you find out that you don’t die. That you probably could live through your worst fear if it did come to pass – which it most likely won’t.
That alone is amazing. The energy you used to spend on this constant worry can now be turned to something else. And just like with any habit, it’s a good idea to replace it with something else, or you might just slip back into it. But I wanted to take it further, to turn that depleted energy of worry into a machine for happiness.
Meditation is my method, so I chose to turn the scary scenarios of my worry into a platform for transformation. My biggest worry was that my husband would die. At times I was convinced of it happening, and felt my own grief at the news. It did make me feel kind of crazy sometimes. If that energy was having that effect on me, what was it doing to him? I know as a kid the drain that my mother’s worry was on me. I felt responsible for her obsessive focus on imminent danger and death. It surrounded me with fear.
So, in meditation I began to picture a time when my husband was happy, when he was filled with what makes him whole. And I focused on seeing him that way and how it felt. I breathed out love toward him, surrounding him with light and lifting him up in joy. This practice makes me so happy that I easily slip into seeing myself in the same light and love.
The more I practice, the less I worry. And the energy of fear dissipates and becomes peace.
Please enjoy this meditation as a first step to transforming worry to peace: