There’s a lot of chaos in the world as we speak. War, natural disaster, guns, political upheaval, racial tension, yadi yadi yada. Network news loves it. Social media feeds on it. Everyday people heighten it. How?
Of course we do.
May I ask why?
Because we care.
Interesting. So worry then is synonymous with compassion? Is that what I’m hearing?
Yeah… I suppose it is.
Oh boy, where to begin?
HOW ABOUT HERE
Worry: to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; to move with effort; fret.
I didn’t make that up. That’s the dictionary definition. Ask yourself: helpful or harmful? Uplifting or sinking? Supportive or destructive?
Hey, I never said I slept well.
Forgive me, but I sort of pieced that together. I mean, you might as well call it self-torture, right? That and the fact that ‘worry,’ literally speaking, derives from the Old English word wyrgan meaning “to strangle.” Or maybe you prefer the German root würgen, also meaning “to strangle.” Pick your poison.
Might I suggest something?
Sure, why not.
I know it makes you feel heroic, courageous, and an admirable, altruistic part-of-the-world. But seriously, it’s not flattering. What else it’s not: the job of a good parent, in the Bible, the formula for a flourishing non-profit, and/or a TED talk gone viral.
You’re telling me that you don’t worry?
Sure don’t. Never have. Never will.
Whoa, a macho man you are…
I didn’t say that I don’t support others or get scared about or feel deeply for or occasionally get ticked off at the silliness of humanity and the unfortunate fate that happens to great souls. Like anyone else, I absolutely do. It’s natural. But I don’t pump worry gasoline onto the fire. Not my job, not yours. And I’ll tell you why.
Worry is a FEAR-fueled, energy-sucking, manipulative endeavor that tricks you into believing you’re doing the “right” thing.
But if you read the fine print, you’ll see: reactor, mental/spiritual/emotional tick, and what the French call saboteur. It will eat you alive. The more you worry about your friend with cancer, the state of the economy, the election, tax and healthcare reform, the job offer, or your kid driving with a cell phone, the more power you give to the issue at hand.
Do you think Buddhist monks and Vatican priests, who are blessing all of us as we speak, sit in prayer and meditation for hours on end enfolding the planet in a ring of Love only to 10 minutes later exacerbate their prayer and good vibes by flipping on the nightly news? I don’t think so.
Which brings me to the one step.
WORRY vs. WONDER
“You either pray or you worry. Not both.” -50 Cent
Wonder: to think or speculate curiously; to be filled with awe.
Worry stresses. Wonder blesses.
Worry is a mental circus. Wonder is no mind.
Worry goes outward. Wonder stays inward.
Worry is a road block. Wonder is a bridge.
Worry attaches. Wonder liberates.
Worry bathes in fear. Wonder swims in possibility.
Worry is a dementor. Wonder is a Patronus (in Harry Potter lingo that is).
Worry takes you southbound in the speedy direction polar your Heart’s Desires. It bolts from intent, scattered and slippery. Wonder, on the other hand, flows from a well of stillness and surrender. Like so:
I worry my friends won’t be there for me.
I wonder when my self-approval will be enough.
I worry about climate change.
I wonder how I can support Mother Earth.
I worry that he’ll never awake from his funk.
I wonder when he’ll remember his heart’s purpose.
I worry she’ll get laid off.
I wonder the blessing it might bestow.
I worry about his travels to a foreign country.
I wonder the trust it will mold.
The wonder approach is affirmative, but detached action. Which means, of course, feathers will be ruffled. The worrywarts of the world, lost amidst their drama (one they’re unconsciously feeding), will mislabel you as selfish and lazy. Others will say, “Oh, he’s smug and arrogant. He doesn’t even care.”
Your response? So be it.
What they don’t know (because they’re drowning in worry), is that your laissez-faire attitude is a consciously-driven choice to step outside the soap opera. Not because you don’t care, not because you’re an inconsiderate person, because you’re holding the Light. In everything, for everyone. Blessing the situation with wisdom and paradigm shifts. Clearing space for miracles to unfurl.
So hold the Light. Send Light. Be the Light. Stay anchored in wonder. It’s the purest form of compassion there is. Some will understand, some won’t.
It’s a demanding job, but someone’s gotta do it.