“Over control is spiritually deadening. When we let God do the worrying, we find many possibilities open up,” (Touchstones by Hazelden)
Our Worries Deaden Our Spirit
“Spiritually deadening” is a great description of our worries, fears and overthinking. Lost in thoughts of the future and past, we’re numb to the beauty and love available in this very moment—the only one we actually have.
I must confess that I’ve been worrying for the past few weeks. I just couldn’t get myself to write the next blog or newsletter. So, I took a break from writing and promotion to restore my energy and enthusiasm.
Acceptance is the key to flowing with my varying levels of motivation. Instead of judging myself harshly, I consider what “good” reasons I have to be somewhat depleted. Certainly, autumn was pretty intense with getting the audio book launched and various presentations. Recognizing this gives me self-compassion and allows me to take a break.
What’s Really Bothering Me
But, I must admit, what’s really been kicking my serenity in the ass is this: my worries about my various aches and pains. Although they’re minor, they certainly do amp up my negativity and fear.
Physical pain takes me back to my past suffering with two frozen shoulders, surgery, back pain, etc. As I project into the future, I imagine it will be even worse than those experiences. Those fears cause me to try to control my pain by worrying about the problem rather than the (spiritual) solution (see blog)–thus the “spiritual deadening” I’ve been feeling.
It’s all too easy to fall into the illusion that, if I analyze the sources of pain, use ice, exercise properly, and avoid the “wrong activities,” I’ll be able to control it. But such preoccupations only keep me stuck in thoughts of suffering, And we all know this singular truth: What occupies our minds manifests in our lives. So, I knew things had to change.
Physical pain has often served my spiritual growth by getting me humble and on my knees. Eventually, I notice my mental misery and enlist a power greater than my fears to overcome them.
Solutions for Our Worries: Waking up Spirit
I can hasten my willingness to claim spiritual power by increasing my self-care: meetings, helping others, praying, meditating, journaling, reading, and talking to a spiritual advisor. It’s similar to filling up our mental “sanity bank” with wisdom and faith that dissolves our worries.
Of course breathing in spiritual strength and breathing out negativity is a great place to start. A quick “Help me to see this differently” or “All is well” can settle down our worries. The Serenity Prayer connects us to acceptance, courage and power when we’re imprisoned by doubt.
So, I’ve been following my own advice and using the tools presented in “Worry Less Now.” Who knew that I’d need to use them so often and so consistently throughout my life!?
It’s just proof that, as humans, we’re often tempted by our worries and fears. Fortunately, with experience, we learn how to return to sanity, trust, and peace of mind.
When we we awaken from the dreams we’ve been lost in, we can fully inhabit our life, savoring its present sensations. The feel of our breath filling our body. The smell of a gardenia. The beauty of a palm tree ruffled by the breeze. The taste of cilantro.
I’m so grateful to share the tools that have helped me discover my true, wise, god-self, even in the midst of life’s challenges. And, I’m grateful for something else, too!!
On Jan 11, I celebrated 34 years without a drink or drug. Many of you reading this have played a large role in my recovery. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
To celebrate, I’m still giving away free tokens for my audiobook of “Worry Less Now.” Just use the Contact Form here to claim it.
If you haven’t listened to any of my interviews on podcasts, I think this is one of the best. Omar Pinto (SHAIR podcast) is a gifted interviewer and a wonderful guy. Listen to it here: PODCAST “Worry Less in Sobriety. “
Gigi Langer, a person in recovery, holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology from Stanford University. Through her writing, coaching, and speaking, Gigi has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and Murphy, her cat.