I went to see a new doctor yesterday regarding an impending knee surgery. Capping off a litany of questions, she asked if I found myself stressed out, and if I needed anything to help me stop worrying. Her question immediately started bouncing back and forth inside my head, instigating a fast-paced, hemispherical game of racquetball. On one side, were the emotions tied to the human reasons and feelings of worry that we have all felt about future situations in which we—or someone we love—may be involved. On the other side, were the physical, scientific, expressions and manifestations of that worry, stress. The ensuing fast-paced volley of everything I knew to be true, changed my life.
When I thought objectively about what worry actually was, and in what time frame—past, present or future—I began to unravel my old belief system surrounding the whole idea.
We are conditioned to think that it is an altruistic gesture to worry about those we love. As if it is the action-oriented word for ‘caring.’ When, in actuality, it could be considered quite selfish.
Since we cannot change the past, and the future hasn’t happened yet, then the only thing we can control with certainty is the present moment. And since the present moment is within our control, and happy, loving, appreciative and excited emotions emit higher, faster vibrations, why not choose thoughts and things that make us feel good...? Why not use the control we have in the present moment to feel good...?
In other words, instead of stressing about my impending knee surgery, why not think about the doctor that I know, love and trust? Or the hospital that is rated number one in the country for orthopedic surgery? Or the fact that they do a bajillion of these things a week with excellence? Why not focus on the things surrounding it that make me feel good? And why not do the same for those you luv? Why not focus on the excitement your son feels each time he rides his motorcycle, for instance…? The hard work he was willing to do in order to buy it himself? His passion for taking care of it...? This is a tall order, for us to fundamentally shift our focus. However, try as we might, we cannot control others’ decisions. We can only control how we feel. And how we feel has real effects on our state of well-being, and the vibes we send out to those around us. When we worry, and stress and feel badly, we are showering those we love, including ourselves, with low, slow, negative vibes. And when taking that into consideration, it doesn’t feel altruistic. Nor does it feel helpful, or caring.
In fact, stress feels awful. Worrying feels even worse.
So what if we took those moments when our stomach is churning, and we chose to think thoughts and do things that make us feel differently?
What if we made this a habit...?
And what if we felt better, and thus changed our lives for the better?
We all deserve to feel amazing, and to shower those around us with the love we truly feel for them.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]