Friday, May 23, 2014

How to Release Our Stories of Worry

I just got back from visiting old friends in Los Angeles.  I met separately with four of my oldest friends and had some wonderful and joyful catching up time.

I did notice, however, that underneath the surface of everyone's busy lives, there was a story of worry.  One was worrying about illness, another finances and yet another some recent back surgeries.  It seems that few of us escape the "living hell" of fearful worrying.  And it seems to me that as we age, the worry often intensifies.

One friend was describing to me the overwhelming role worry is currently playing in her life. This friend has a grown son.  Although he experienced difficulties throughout his childhood and was given much professional help, it was only recently that he was diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrone.  He is in his early twenties and is living at home.  He has great fears of living independently and, in fact, refuses to do so. He also has refused to go to college.  He has a simple job at a local supermarket where he works a few days a week.   He comes home and plays video games.  He has two or three friends that he plays with online and that occasionally will come to the house. Beyond that he has little social life.  He rarely leaves the house for anything except work.

My friend is coming to terms with the fact that her son will probably never leave home, will never have a better job than the one he has now, will never have many friends and will probably never have a girlfriend and marry.  This is not the life she had hoped for him.  This is not the life she had hoped for herself.  She is grieving.  She is worried for him.  She is afraid.  She said to me, "I need help.  I don't know how to stop feeling so emotional about this."

Sometimes our grief and worry get lodged into our minds and bodies and it begins to cycle through in an endless repeating loop which seems inescapable.

In an effort to quell the insanely repeating thoughts, we might try "changing the subject" in our minds, but the worry thoughts just keep coming back endlessly plaguing us.  Or we may try to "stuff" the worry down deep where it won't bother us, only to then find that it shows up larger than life at 3:00 in the morning in the form of paralyzing night terrors.

So what can she do to feel better?  The process I outline in "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness" that would be very helpful for my friend is what I call "Feel the Feelings".  In this process, we set aside some deep introspective time to really allow ourselves to go deep into these feelings.  When we authentically sit with our fear, worry and grief and just watch it, allowing it to be whatever it is, allowing it to fully express itself, it dissipates.

If my friend does this process, she will find that she will be able to think about her son from a calmer place.  The terrible negative emotions that she currently feels will be transmuted and in the future, although she will still have the same son with the same challenges, she will feel acceptance about the situation.

What's your story of worry and how is it wreaking havoc in your life?

If you have a need for the "Feel the Feelings" process,  I have created a guided meditation that you can use in the quiet of your own home, Forgive Your Past Now  which can be downloaded to your computer or iphone for $2.99.  Using the download will teach you the process which you can then apply whenever you find that you have circumstances in your life that are causing your to feel fear.

The "Feel the Feelings" process is also explained in depth in my book. 

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