Monday, June 27, 2016

Aspiring Zen Master

When I was little I had a terrible time with anxiety. Every night as I would lay in bed I would just worry myself sick with all of these nightmare scenarios. What-if's plagued me until I was about twelve and I realized that none of the stuff I had ever worried about actually happened. 

I am much older now. But I still battle the occasional worries. I call myself a professional what-ifer. 
I have gotten very good at being able to be able to reason with myself and calm my mind out of it. Lots of deep breathing and meditating will take it right away. Sometimes though it's not that easy. I'll know I am being silly, I'll know I am moving towards what I call "the dark side" where I will just let the worry be all consuming and wash over me and take the drivers seat; a place where the worry wins and I am a nervous anxious mess. It usually only lasts a little while and it doesn't interfere with my daily life too much. But it will be there, just hanging around like a nuisance that serves no purpose other than to bother me. 

My second pregnancy was probably the easiest least complicated pregnancy in the history of pregnancies. Like for seriously. Just easy as pie. No complications, No morning sickness. Labor was easy. All of it was totally text book fine. But rather than enjoy that, I spent the entire time (39 weeks 2 days) worried about all of the things that could go wrong. How very foolish of me. Now that he is almost 10 weeks old (and healthy and perfect and asleep on me as I type this with one hand) I wish I could go back and just enjoy it. That's my life lesson. To worry less and enjoy more. I imagine when I'm in my nineties I will feel the same way. But it won't be just about my pregnancy, it will be about my whole life. That I worried the whole thing away. 

I sometimes wish life was like a wikifilm page, where I can read how it ends. I can see that everything turns out just fine and then go watch the movie with the ease of knowing it's all going to be okay. But life isn't like that. We wake up everyday and just go. Trusting and living in the moment. 
Something else I am also working on. 

I so wish I was zen master like my mother, or my aunt. Both are amazing examples of chopping wood, carrying water. For example, a few years ago my mom found a skin growth on her arm. I asked her what it could be. She calmly shrugged and said "It's probably a skin cancer. I see my doctor in a few days. I am not too worried." As it turned out it was just a small patch of dry skin from a previous sun burn. Nothing to worry about. But if that had been me with the skin growth? Good Lord! I would have been a hot mess, frantically and obsessively searching webmd and Doctor Google and practically writing my own eulogy. Is that rational? Or even healthy? No. But is that what I do? Yes. The struggle is real as I don't know how to be any other way. 

So there that is. My biggest flaw. Out in the open. 

But I will say this, I am working on it. I am always working on it. The worry is a bad habit akin to one bitting their finger nails,; I learned somewhere and I just have to UNlearn it. It will take some time and determination but I know eventually it will be gone. I guess you could say that right now, I want to be carrying the water but I am not done chopping the wood. Almost done, but not just yet. 

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