Planning Versus Worry

My 25 year old daughter is taking a leave of absence this summer from her job in order to bike from Vancouver to San Francisco.  When I reported to several family and friends that she was doing this by herself many expressed immediate worry about her safety.  Until hearing these responses it had never occurred to me to be worried or anxious.  I started wondering if I was being a responsible parent and why I was not worried. It was also interesting to note that the people who were expressing concern were all men.

While I still did not become anxious after these conversations, they did spur me to talk with Sarah about her plans and to suggest some safety ideas including identifying a time each week when she would call home, plus making sure we had her complete itinerary.  Sarah is completely confidant, unworried and planning very carefully.  I respect her judgment and skills as a bicyclist.

Leaving aside for now a discussion of why it is men who are the most worried, why does worry often precede planning and is worry and anxiety necessary to plan carefully?  Worry comes from thoughts of what has happened in the past or past beliefs such as women alone are vulnerable to attack and rape.  Fear is created by anxiety that what has happened in the past will occur in the future.  Worry occurs by fearing what may happen in the future. A mistaken cultural belief is that we have to worry in order to plan carefully.  However, Sarah has demonstrated very ably that it is possible to plan carefully without the worry.  In fact I believe worry hinders careful planning by blocking the inner voice of creativity and wisdom which leads to new ideas and solutions.

The past is an illusion; it is over and done.  The future is an illusion; it has not occurred.  The only reality is the present moment.  And in this present moment there is only peace and love.  What happens is that we rarely live in the present because we are consumed with thoughts of the past and worries about the future.  One way to bring me back into the present is to acknowledge that worry and anxiety do not change the situation, they only harm myself. Sarah plans in the present.  I accept her plans in the present.  I do not allow my thoughts to be ruled by the past or clouded by worries of the future.  When I do, I bring myself back into the present by listening to my inner wisdom, by observing first and then releasing these thoughts;  trusting in God’s plan no matter the outcome.  It brings blessed peace.

Categories General Spiritual Musings | Tags: | Posted on May 16, 2009

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