Worry is an interesting emotion to explore. It has merit as much as it is a distraction. When I think about worry and put an image around it, it looks like a mother wrapped in fear related to a child’s safety or like the wishful wondering if you’re going to make it to the top of a hill. In the first image, there is an underlying sense of concern that can swirl into undue anxiety. Whereas in the second picture, there is an underlying hope that can spiral into the what-if abyss.
Worry manifests most commonly in my brow as it wrinkles as if to protect the precious cargo inside. It sometimes causes paralysis as it gathers more momentum than the energy it takes to decide to take action. In some situations, worry can be a nice little trigger saying “Watch out, be careful, or what if”. The key is to filter through the noise and understand its concern in a way that allows my inner conversation to either validate the caution or realize the insanity is only keeping me frozen.
With these diverse poles of worry, understanding its purpose can be tricky. On one hand, it functions as a caution or warning worth paying attention to, while on the other side, it leads to a debilitating and unfounded whirl of reasons not to do something. What’s a person to do?
In my exploration of emotions, I find it useful to give worry a moment of recognition, understand its function, and then put the power of my inner dialog to work toward my resolute goal. I enjoy giving my worries other more important jobs to take care of, such as picking up all the litter in the oceans, being sure everyone has a warm blanket in the wintertime, or scrubbing germs out of public restrooms. It likes to stay busy, so these are the perfect jobs for it.
I lovingly ask: what’s up with your worry? Do you understand where it’s coming from and what it wants? If it had the perfect job, what would you send your worry to do? I’m sending this hungry worry doll to gobble up your worries – it knows how to digest them!
Feelings color our canvases…
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