If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.
The good old Dalai Lama is usually one of my go-to people for sensible quotes. I turned to him recently around the issue of worrying.
His words are wise. Practical. Logical.
My brain understands them. It even agrees.
But tell that to my heart!
Just before Christmas we had two close family members with medical emergencies. I worried a little then, even though it was pointless and useless and entirely impractical. I also did lots of self-care, and extra meditation, and had frequent conversations with Ben about why worrying was a wasted emotion. (He was always the one reminding me!) We got through all of that fine and our loved ones came home from hospital and we thought that we had a reprieve for a little while.
Then, a couple of days ago, one of our loved ones had to go back to hospital for a recurrence of the same situation that made them so gravely ill late last year.
They are in hospital still, receiving massive infusions of iv antibiotics to quell a rampant infection. Their response to this heavy medication is slow. Tests and conversations with doctors keep revealing more things of concern.
So, I am worried.
It has affected my sleep.
I have little appetite.
And, maybe, I also have a little PTSD, because sitting with them yesterday as they received infusion after infusion took me back to when I sat in a similar room with an iv in my arm, fighting a losing battle against a hospital acquired antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infection that almost took me out. (People with acute injury/illness or complex long-term illnesses often have trauma around aspects of their situation or treatment.)
What to do?
Well, my heart will keep being worried about my loved one, no matter what my brain tells it. When your loved one is unwell, and when things are serious, it brings a weight that no amount of logic can shift. All I can do is manage my anxiety and concern through good self-care, cups of tea with friends, hugs with Ben, chats with family, walks on the beach, and visits with my loved one.
As for the PTSD, I think it’s time to go back to my therapist. I realise that not all of what I am feeling is worry. Some of what I am experiencing right now is trauma. I’m having flashbacks, racing heart and disturbing dreams, so it’s quite clear that the things I thought I had worked through have deeper layers that now need exploration and healing. That’s okay. 2023 is a fantastic year for bringing what has been hidden out into the light so it can be healed, integrated or released. I welcome that, and I’m ready to do the work.
How about you?
Have you got things that are troubling you? If so, I urge you to practice self-care, and if necessary to reach out for help. His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, is right. Worry doesn’t help anything. Still, we’re human, and worry happens as part of life. For me, I have always found that an aspect of my worry is related to being unable to control current situations and of feeling powerless. In many of the situations where I worried there were indeed practical actions I could take to help me feel back in flow again. For others, having a spiritual practice and being connected to loved ones helped. Working with therapists has often helped me find my feet again too.
This morning, before I head back up to the hospital, I’ll call my therapist and book some sessions. I’ll go back through my old journals and look at my notes, and what helped me in the past. I’ll also keep reminding myself to surrender and trust the Universe, because whatever happens, in the end, we are all okay. We come from love, and we return to love. When I remember that, I am always flooded with relief.
Big hugs, love, a jittery old heart, and a need for a bigger mug of tea, Nicole xx
PS – do you want to win a copy of my new Journeymaker’s Planner for 2023? All the details are here.
3 thoughts on “Worrying. Not Worrying.”
Oh Nicole, this sounds hard. Thank for you sharing with us, hoping it all turns out ok for you and your family!
Nicole you and your family are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing it’s good for all of us to share your travels. (Life) Bless you! Love 💕
My lovely Nicole, my heart goes out to you. We are after all only human. I wish your loved one well and send healing love to you all. xxxxxxx