Perhaps it is where I am in life. It’s possible that because I am presently trying to have less drama and less stress around me, I am REALLY noticing these signs in others.
So many people I know are stressing over the unknown and getting worked up over what hasn’t happened and actually may never happen.
I was the type of parent who worried about everything from miscarriage, crib death, child molestation, kidnapping, car accidents and anything else in the news. Maybe it was because I had only one child. Perhaps it was because I was a single parent. Or more likely, my personality and personal fears were the reasons.
It is no surprise that headaches, anxiety and sleepless nights were a large part of my lifestyle. There was one particularly horrible night when my 17-year-old son was out with friends. It was pouring rain and he was a relatively new driver. From the moment he left my home, I pictured every horrific scenario imaginable.
About a half-hour before he returned home that night I made a pact with myself. I started by acknowledging that I had, up until this point, spent his entire life over worrying about him. I now reasoned that the chances were pretty good that he would grow up and live a very long life. I was also pretty sure that if I didn’t change my thinking and emotions, I was going to die of a stress-related illness. Or at best, I would spend decades concerned about things that would probably never happen and therefore age early.
Seriously, African Bees, Lyme disease, mosquito-related illness… there are so many things that could get us.
I also realized I wouldn’t have the necessary strength or the ability to handle a crisis if I wore myself down agonizing for decades about things that may never materialize.
Back to my pact. I made the decision that I would wait until I was actually faced with a situation that needed my all. I would reserve my energy and therefore be in a better position to handle a crisis.
It amazed me that as soon as I articulated the above, I felt a calm come over me and on that very stormy night I fell asleep a full half-hour before my son arrived home. A first!
It is very hard not to worry about our loved ones. It takes much awareness to not over-think life.
So to those of you who work yourself up and create tension by thinking of all the things that may happen, I advise you to try to neutralize it. Begin by waiting until you are faced with a situation that requires an action. I am pretty sure that if you can accomplish this, many of the crises that you had anticipated will never actually happen.
A close friend of mine has said on more than one occasion, “If I knew how well my son was going to turn out I would have slept better.” Like my son, these boys are 43-year-old fathers with children of their own.
I hope they do a better job of enjoying the journey while their kids are young.
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Look for my book 12 Ways To Discover What Makes You Tick, available through Amazon.com on E-book April 8th.