Worries are just thoughts. Thoughts that drain us of energy - physical energy, emotional energy and spiritual energy. So why do we waste all that valuable energy? My mother was the queen of worry. She used to call me and tell me everything she was worrying about. I would say, “Mama, you go to Mass every morning, lay it on the Altar and leave it there.” Sometimes, I wonder if maybe she believed if she worried about it, it wouldn’t come true. Worry is a secondary emotion with fear being the primary. The two most common fears are: that we won’t get something we want or that we will lose something we already have. There are many other fears, fear of death is a big one. I’ve had clients who were Agnostic, who were very afraid of death. I would ask if they didn’t believe in an afterlife, why were they afraid. Invariably, they would say,” because, if I died, that would be the end.” I would say,” well, would you know that you died?” Most of them would say, “I guess not.” So, why worry about it? I know that my mother gave so much love to everyone she had contact with and was loved so much. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. Because of the field I am in, I see worry as a very negative waste of time. It harms us physically by increasing our heart rate and making our blood pressure rise. How can that be good for us?
I once had a client who came to his first session and spent the whole time telling me how much he worried and everything he was worried about. Every morning, I ask God to give me the words and the wisdom to say whatever I need to say, to whom ever I need to say it to today and to let me say it in love and not in ego. I ask that He use my voice to spread His word. When I looked at the schedule for the day one morning and saw that he had scheduled his third session, I knew I needed an extra prayer. So I sat at my desk and said, “God, he hasn’t heard my message and I need help.” When we started the session, he proceeded to tell me all of his worries. I listened intently and then said gently, “every time you start to worry this week, I want you to stop and say to yourself, Toni said that I can only worry on Saturdays from ten to twelve. And on Saturday morning at ten, I want you to sit down and worry about everything you wanted to worry about this week.” He looked at me like I had lost my mind (I was kind of in shock myself). He agreed to try it. The next session, he sat down and grinned ear to ear. He said that he had done what I said, and when he sat down on Saturday, he couldn’t remember anything he was supposed to worry about. Then, he said, “I’d like to try it again this week.” Needless to say, we got on with real therapy after that.
I also have had clients take a shoe box, cover it, write Gods’ Box on it, and write down on strips of paper whatever they are worried about (putting it in the box symbolizes giving it to God and letting go of it). In two weeks, we open it and they are amazed at how much has been taken care of without their help.
When we begin to make ourselves aware of what we are thinking, we can change those thoughts and we start to live in the present moment. It helps eliminate negative thinking and promotes more positive thoughts. It does away with fear and brings love and light into our lives.
Toni True-Wills, Ph.D.