Worrier to Warrior
Worrying shows up as a response to our thoughts. Almost instantaneously and automatically as soon as we think about what is happening next in our life. The reason why we use this strategy is because we tend to think we can’t actively STOP it. We also believe that it's helpful in a way that by worrying we are empathetic to everyone including ourselves. Maybe it is that worrying has been working for you since you discovered it as a way to cope with the major and minor challenges in your life. Who doesn’t? We also believe that worrying is actually helpful. We tend to think that if I worry then I am making sure I am paying attention to what's worrying me and so I am working towards it. We can still give our attention to what we try to accomplish without using “automatic worry strategy” which makes itself available as an easy tool to use when faced with any challenge. In other words, while the choices made with worry gives us our desired outcome, they also produce unwanted side effects/ consequences.
The voice inside the head is constant, and it's up to us if we give our attention to them or listen to them. If we give them all the importance they are seeking, they start to feel very real. For example, I don't think I am good at expressing my opinions to my co-workers. What if someone would take it in the wrong way? Then what, should I hold back? But if I don't say it then it won’t change, and on and on. This is the process where we start to get consumed by our own thoughts. This is how worry can show up. We are not talking about avoiding worrisome thoughts, we are talking about recognizing them and what’s behind them ( the whole thought process) before reacting to them.
As we say this we do recognize that acknowledging our worries is one thing, overcoming them is another. As soon as we acknowledge it, we start to peel off the layers and feel the emotions underneath it. The emotion that has commonly expressed itself into worry is FEAR. Our fear of whatever it is in that moment fuels our thoughts about the near and far future. Before we disassociate ourselves from those thoughts, they turn into worry and if we still don't pay attention to the buildup of our worry, physical symptoms of anxiety begin. In all of this there is a point of possibility. Here we remind ourselves that we are not our thoughts, we are not our emotions. As we detach from any reaction we are having from the situation in the form of feelings and emotions, the space appears to make the choice. Do we keep going with streams of thoughts or do we pause, do we breathe and let go of the attachment with the thoughts that fuels fear. One thought at a time, but here is where you are facing an opportunity to continue to be a WORRIER or choose to be a WARRIOR. Observing and examining our emotions requires us to leave our comfort zone. Who wants to talk about their fear emotions- it's not comfortable. This is the essence of this write up for today. Why be the WORRIER when you can be the WARRIOR?
Being a warrior is about paying attention to the battle inside. It's about being courageous to leave the comfort zone and show up to explore our own emotions. Fear is what sits at the bottom of almost all the worrisome thoughts. What is that fear? It's our edge, the limit we face and can't move past it. In this moment, the warrior within shows up. We have a choice, we can either freeze or we can step back and observe what's going on with our feelings and emotions. As we become aware of the WORRIER inside us, this encounter allows the WARRIOR within us to play with the limits. It is in this moment when we choose to move forward, while still holding on to our “fear” so close that we begin to open up. As we open up we find more space to breathe and as we breathe we expand beyond our limits.
Fear is not what gets in the way but how we respond when we are faced with it. Being courageous doesn't mean having no fear! It means stepping out of your comfort zone and keeping that emotion so close in your awareness and using fear as a fuel! Using what shows up as a defensive and protective response as a reminder to pause and open up a bit more inside. Let that armor of protection loosen a bit, because the heaviness of the armor is preventing us from propelling.
The warrior within continually comes up against big challenges, but does not take refuge into Emotions! Instead this warrior in us learns how to detach and let go by simply feeling the whole thing in the heart. Let it touch your heart and have you feel compassion for the Self and others. The journey of detachment or starting to let go is first of all realizing that we have come up against our edge, that everything in you is saying NO, because of the fear but we aspire to have our hearts wake up. At this point, the warrior in you softens and expands with more space for love, more space for growth. Because when you are a WARRIOR it has to do with finding open space, not being covered in armor.
Path of warrior isn’t easy and it is accompanied by a lot of fear, a lot of resentment, and a lot of doubt. That’s what it means to be human, that’s what it means to be a warrior. You always come up against your so-called “limits”. and then you often choose to expand over those limits in a gentle way.
I invite all of you to test your edges. Challenging ourselves in a gentle way by simply paying attention to what lies underneath that worry. Be empowering yourselves and others by choosing to be a WARRIOR of your inner conflict and not be a WORRIER! One thought at a time, let’s be aware of our thoughts that are fueling our fear emotions. If we understand our fear/emotions and thoughts that are driving those feelings, we have now arrived where we no longer get absorbed into fear. We are free from the grip of mental chatter that invokes the WORRIER inside.
Follow the fear to gather courage. We have to do what scares us because courage only comes after that. You are not courageous unless you are daring. When you start facing those negative thoughts that revisit you and you choose not to listen to them, now you have the courage and now you accept the WARRIOR that is within you!
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. - Nelson Mandela