Sunday, July 17, 2011

Living in the Now - Letting Go of Worry

I’ve just sat outside sweating over the last hour or so, having amazingly engaging conversation and enjoying the warm breeze that occasionally offered a momentary breath from the incredible intensity of the Texas heat in July.

I’m back inside now.

A sweetness rises from my skin as I breathe in deeply, surveying the intriguing mixture of students, professionals, couples, and regular people making up the population of Starbucks in this moment.

I’m listening to some of my favorite music—Depeche Mode, from the early years (up to Violator, aka the Personal Jesus album), smiling at this music I haven’t listened to consciously in years, remembering when I first fell in love with the Speak & Spell album, on the way to Mendocino, California in a church van, driving up the coastal highway, trying not to get car sick, and just enjoying a moment of my life where I really had nothing to worry about.

Looking around in Starbucks, I wonder what each person is worried about.

“You wear guilt like shackles on your feet,
like a halo in reverse…
I can feel the discomfort in your seat,
and in your head it’s worse.

There’s a pain—a famine in your heart,
an aching to be free.
Can’t you see,
all love’s luxuries are here for you and me?”
– Halo, Depeche Mode
Everyone has worries… burdens… things they feel guilty or shameful about… and I find myself wondering—when do we take on worries? How do we take them on? Is this a habit instilled in us by our parents, by the environment in which we are raised? Is it an inherent part of human character?

One thing’s for sure—once you start worrying, it’s a very easy trend to continue. Except, it doesn’t just continue, does it? One worry builds upon another, until suddenly, we’re worried about every damn thing in the universe—even things we can’t control.

How much energy do you think we waste on worrying?

How much of your life do you waste, worrying?

Why do adults worry so damn much? It’s built into our society, even. If we aren’t worried about something, then somehow, we end up with a guilty conscience. So then, we feel shameful about being guilty of feeling no worry.

So, which is worse—worry or shame?

I’d rather leave off both of those feelings… I think living in the present is the only way to combat these feelings we impose on ourselves—these feelings that are nothing if not incredibly heavy, unhealthy burdens.

Of course, the bigger issue is that we manifest our own lives—the thoughts, learnings, feelings that we have. They all come from within. The relationships we initiate, nurture, and maintain are a direct reflection of who we really are on the inside at the moment.

I really believe that, and I’ve seen it in my own life, over and over—especially in the last year.

The most powerful way I know of to let go of worrying is to live in the moment.

It’s incredibly difficult to do—at least at first… I know I’ve struggled with it over the years. But it’s almost like something finally clicked for me, and now I’m finding it increasingly easier to live in the moment, day to day.

If I concentrate on right now… somehow the future doesn’t seem so overwhelming, frightening, or nebulous.

If I concentrate on right now… I am surrendering (ding!ding!ding!) to the path that I have always been meant to walk. I am becoming more myself in every moment, and becoming the woman I was created to be—except that now, I’m not fighting against it.

Now, I’m learning to just go with it.

And that feels pretty awesome.

If I concentrate on right now… I am helping to create the future that I was going to have in the first place—the only thing that’s changed is my mindset… and isn’t that so much more empowering and wonderful than constantly worrying about the future, or trying to figure it out (aka control it)?

And, like the lyrics from Halo, above, if we are living in love… then guilt and shame fade away. All that replaces it is love… and now.

Nothing is more real than right now. Nothing says love better than living in this moment.

It really is all we have, isn’t it?

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