The ‘midwife of comfort and so of happiness,’ says the Seventeenth Century Jesuit guru, Balthasar Gracian. Such wisdom is found in this little oracle pertaining to all of life, yours and mine. Yet, we’ll still worry. Perhaps not in our external world with our painted-on smiles and ‘plastic platitudes,’ but internally the storm occurs, unceasingly at times.
A life of thought concerning the self, in preparation for a life that can help others... two lives intertwined... this is another great wisdom. But, this doesn’t come without attending to worry.
Worry, we’re told, is a cancer of the mind and heart. It gets us nowhere and can only infest and infect our thinking, spoiling our relationship outcomes, inevitably.
Why do we give or take news that won’t help. Helping is the nexus of life. Surely all news is able to help? Perhaps not always. The advice is to avoid being the purveyor of bad news.
Two parallel complementary lives—two lives intertwined—is the way many have mastered their fears and their worry. They have learned to still their inner hearts whilst being in the midst of outer chaos. Only through knowledge and assurance are we able to get there. Faith is built on confidence; and that based in good information—knowledge that holds up under pressure.
What are we filling our minds with?
This is probably one of the most important questions we could ask ourselves. Are we adept at flattery or being flattered? If so, we’re worried unnecessarily about appearances—ours mostly, but also theirs too. If it’s the latest news, gossip and scandals, these have a way of biting us back. Our minds think this is the way we ought to think. It’s tragic. If we’re thinking about what annoys us, guess what, we’ll get annoyed.
Training our minds not to worry is the same as finding better ways to think.
è Be more neutral.
è Learn to be an observer of life.
è Don’t have an opinion, always. Better still empathise with another’s opinion without owning it.
è Be disciplined to watch your thought-life. We can only control what we’re aware of.
è Strive to think good thoughts, hopeful thoughts, and true thoughts. Thinking is habit.
In the midst of worry, find a mirror. Look into it. Brace yourself. Smile into it. Laugh if you can. It really is not that bad. And even if it is, this bad and troublesome time will surely pass. They always do.
A cacophony of thought and all manner of anxiety and worry won’t change a thing. Accepting our situations is our key out of the cognitive jail we place ourselves in.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.