A worried mother raised me. She seemed to worry about everything. I have vivid memories of some of the many things she told me while growing up:
- Don’t stay out late without friends with you.
- Don’t walk or drive home at night alone.
- Don’t go to rock concerts where there are drugs.
- Don’t …. don’t … don’t!
Honestly, many of these things were good common sense instructions. But a lot of them were just fearful thoughts.
Because of my upbringing, I, too, developed a habit of worrying about what MIGHT happen. Of course, worrying did nothing to stop or slow anything that might come my way.
It took me many years to ‘unlearn’ the habit of worrying. I found that worrying is actually like prayer. But it is praying for what you don’t want!
Interesting thought: Worry is just a negative form of prayer! After all, if gratitude is a perfect prayer to manifest more of what I want, why would worry be any different! Since worry would manifest as something I DON’T want, why let the worrisome thoughts enter my brain at all!
Over the years., I learned to replace my worry with gratitude.
I found a couple of quotes by Alan Cohen that addresses this concept:
Quite terrorizing yourself with scary thoughts, and start inspiring yourself with delightful visions.
Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.
What a release this has been for me over the years.
When I retire at night, my last thoughts are expressions of appreciation and thanksgiving for what I experienced during the day. So instead of my mother’s words rattling through my brain at night, these are my thoughts:
- I am so grateful for the beautiful meal my husband cooked for me today
- I loved the work I did today and am looking forward to continuing the project tomorrow.
- I appreciated the kind words someone shared with me today.
Not one ‘don’t’ in the list!
Next time you feel the urge to worry, stop, and try expressing a thought or prayer of gratitude instead.