I remember planning my future, where I’d go to college, what I’d study, and how my future career would allow for some flexibility for the unexpected. It was a logical, researched and well-thought-out plan.
I’ve come to realize much of the anxiety, distress, and ultimately dis-ease in my life originated from my stubbornness to follow this plan at all costs. The amount of energy expended trying to control my life depleted my ability to respond to the inevitable “shit show.”
It takes great restraint to focus my efforts on what is happening right now rather than attempting a stranglehold on the cornucopia of “what ifs.” Now, my plan is like following a map to a destination unbeknownst to me. The map helps guide me, but I must find my own way.
The opinion of others always came first in my life well above my own. I’ve spent most of my life trying to please others while neglecting myself. Finally, I am ready to take care of myself and do the things I feel are most important. People can say whatever they want, but I know the truth. I must be able to live with myself and my decisions. When I go to sleep at night, I want a clear conscious, so my dreams are my own. I appreciate the opinions of others, but I listen to my own voice now.
Time spent worrying is wasted time. I have spent my fair share of time worrying and have nothing positive to show for it. Worrying did not help me solve any problem, and it never made me feel better. Worrying is empty and painful; not deserving of worship. Folding laundry is better than worrying, and I try to find something worthwhile to do when the worry-wart appears. After all, once the laundry is folded, then I don’t have to worry about that anymore.
What a relief to finally realize it is my decision to like others and their feelings towards me belong to them. My anxiety has always made entering a room full of people a terrifying experience, but now I can (usually) keep that inward focus at bay. I need to choose the people who fit into my life instead of waiting for them to approve of me. I know my story and what I am no longer willing to tolerate. There is no reason for me to be anxious.