As I read through my gazillion newsfeeds each day, I search for that one little nugget of wisdom that just knocks me down. You know, the story that stops your in your tracks and has you feeling breathless and almost sick from the insight it provides.
Today I found such brilliance in an article that chronicles what elderly people regret looking back at their lives — they regret worrying.
This story is filled with recollections of times they worried and yet all that energy didn’t affect the outcome. So with the wisdom of age, they can now see how fruitless much of their worry and angst was. One of my favorite examples was of a priest who found himself emotionally wounded, and asked his superior how to let go. The elder priest told him to “just let it be.” The younger priest tried that and admitted that it didn’t work at first, but in T I M E, he found acceptance through the repetition of those words.
I often feel this way — I dismiss advice to seek calm because I assume it can’t possibly snuff out my worry. And yet if I keep going to the calm center, things are easier. It might not happen immediately (and rarely does) but the practice of seeking calm over time can ease future stressful events. It sets you up to conquer that cycle of worry better and faster as you practice. Meditation is one way to accomplish this, and I can now see that you don’t need to do all that much of it in order to feel the change (I’m a part-time meditator at best — so believe!).
I take this to heart today because although I’m not elderly, I have been reflecting on my time off work this past year. And I see how much of myself I poured into worrying — trying to stave off all things that would show up to disrupt my perfect little haven. And for what? All I did was take away some of the joy of not working.
Picture yourself as a respected elder giving the interview to a journalist – imagine what you would say as you look back on today and decide not to worry, decide to just let go.