Last night was an interesting night! On many Wednesday’s, I serve as a volunteer Reiki provider at a Caring Center here in Memphis. We provide Reiki treatments to those who are in need that might not otherwise be able to afford getting services from a private practitioner. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to practice my Reiki and also give back to the community.
There seemed to be an overall theme last night with many I gave Reiki. There was this strong sense they were very overwhelmed. Struggling with letting go and carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, as if they held the single responsibility of making it all work out themselves. In speaking with them, and with many others I have encountered this last week for that matter, it seemed the common order of business was the struggle of being overwhelmed and with letting go.
What is it about letting go that has us so dazed and confused? Why is it we seem to have this voracious need for control, and that letting go is in such total opposition and leaves us feeling so inept? It’s as if we believe the worrying we do changes anything, or instigates any positive changes in our current and often less-than-optimal circumstances. Though in reality, it changes absolutely nothing, other than increasing our physical and emotional stress levels and rendering us much less effective.
This has been one topic that has kept me stuck for quite some time until recently. The underlying issue, what’s really at the heart of this matter, reared its ugly head and I saw it for what it really was! It’s control in massive proportions, falsely masquerading as competence! Yep, I said it! It may even be better said as our over-confidence. There are so many of us who have this need to do things ourselves, as in our need for perfection, we can not or do not delegate, insuring things are done the way we see fit. There is a tremendous lack of trust that anyone but us can accomplish tasks in the desired fashion, so we just do it all ourselves. We then find ourselves overwhelmed with the weight of the world, that we so willingly placed upon our own shoulders, and then become frazzled and resentful that we carry such a heavy burden. Why is it we so often do not see this burden is self-imposed?
There is a certain safety we feel in controlling our environment, or so we think! Interestingly enough, though we may have fooled ourselves into believing we are in control, we are NEVER truly in control. In this life, the ONLY thing we ever truly can have control over is ourselves, and quite frankly, that’s up for debate at most times! We may have influence, yet we never truly have control over the thoughts and actions of others or the environments we find ourselves in. We slyly manipulate things we feel are outside what we experience is the acceptable normative, until they conform to our comfort zones once again. Then we wonder why we are still stuck in the same places we have been for far too long.
So why do we engage in this behavior? Why do we intentionally carry such burdens on our shoulders, quite unnecessarily? What are we so afraid of? These questions have to be asked on an individual basis, as we all struggle with different issues. Have you asked yourself these questions before? Perhaps you should….. TODAY! Are we afraid of failure? Are we afraid how we will look to others if something doesn’t go a particular way? What’s the worst possible case scenario that can happen if we relinquish our control, and if that does happen, would we survive it?
I dare to say, fear is one of the most debilitating of the emotions. Fear has the lowest vibrational frequency of any other emotion we can feel. Worse than anger, resentment and even hatred. Fear can not only place us in a very deep rut, but it also insures the sides are steep and slippery so we remain inside with little likelihood of escape! YIKES! And then….. once again….. we wonder why we are overwhelmed! Hmmmmmm….. Are you seeing a pattern here?
So how do we move from that place of fear, control, overwhelm and residing in the pit and move beyond the bonds that often appear hold us captive? LIVE IN THE NOW! It sounds so much easier than it is, and I fully realize that, but the answer is actually quite simple if we could just get out of our heads! Fear is almost always about the future. What has yet to come that we feel may not be to our liking or provides some sort of threat to our existence or our perception of how that existence should be. By holding our thoughts captive, keeping them in the present, we move away from the thought processes that would allow us to remain locked in fear. Consider also that when we’re fearful and overwhelmed about our future, we are much less capable of performing in the present. Our focus, intensity and clarity suffer significantly, as they’re divided.
Learning to maintain our thoughts in the present, the RIGHT NOW, no longer allows fear to take up a rent-free residency in our heads. In essence, it serves the eviction notice to fear and the overwhelmedness that follows suit. We become much more effective emotionally, physically, spiritually and cognitively, which in turn usually allows us to clearly see the very ladder that has always been reaching down into our pit, we were just too occupied to see it prior!
Part of this process is learning to not allow your mind to function in “auto-pilot”. What does that mean? Well, most of us go through our days and are not even aware of what we think much of the time. Most of those auto-pilot thoughts are negative in nature, though we generally don’t recognize it. After all, it’s what we are used to, so we’ve become rather adept at moving along in that lulled state until something significant catches our attention and requires our action.
Have you ever caught yourself going somewhere and along the path, you have drifted off in thought unaware? When you arrive at your destination you realize you don’t remember traveling much of the journey! That is auto-pilot at its best! We’re often not even aware that we are not cognizant until something startles us or snaps us back into reality. This happens so much more than we realize. These are often the times that those negative seeds of doubt, fear and overwhemledness are planted, watered and greatly fertilized!
Make a habit, starting TODAY, of holding your thoughts accountable. Begin to recognize when you’re drifting off into thought unaware and what it is you were thinking about when you caught yourself snapping back into the present. You might be surprised with what you find. Focus your thoughts and intentions on what you can do today, this hour, this minute, this second. Engaging in active, present thought doesn’t allow space for tomorrow’s worries or fears. When you find yourself drifting there, and you will, pull yourself back into the now and change those thoughts. YOU CAN DO THIS! And guess what? The more you practice living in the present, the easier it gets! The sooner you start, the sooner you will get to that place where it comes effortlessly!
Love and light,
Laura Corby :)