“Just for today, I will not worry.” This is the second of five Reiki precepts.
Pause for an instant and ask yourself, “How can someone not worry? Is it possible to live without worries?”
Let us begin this exploration reflecting on what worries are and where they come from. Worries are those disturbing thoughts that bring about distressful emotions such as fear, apprehension, anxiety, anguish, and tension. They are generated by excessive and sometimes obsessive thinking about misfortune and danger, either real or imaginary.
Many times, negative emotions emerge from revisiting situations, and other times we worry too much about the future. We have to pause and ask ourselves, “What am I worrying about right now? Why do I worry? Is my reason for worrying a valid one?” Many times, there are no well-founded reasons for worrying, but we keep doing it just because we have developed a bad habit. The truth is that worrying doesn’t do us any good; it just makes us feel worse and consumes our energy. Worrying doesn’t change anything; only action does.
My friend Bob, who has faced very tough times in his life, tells me, “You know what I do? I pause and ask myself, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ Then I look back, at what I went through, and I realize that I will be able to handle even that. I know that I am able to handle anything. Therefore, I don’t worry.”
The truth is that worry is useless. Why worry about things we have no control over? If we don’t have control, our worry will not change the outcome a bit. And why worry about the things we can control? If we do have control, then we can take action and influence the outcome. So, the reality is that we should never worry. We should not worry about the things we cannot control, and we should not worry about the things we can control. As the Dalai Lama said, “If it can be solved, there’s no need to worry. And if it can’t be solved, worry is of no use.” In my own words, “If you have control, don’t worry. And, if can’t control, why worry?”
In our conversations, my father almost invariably reminds me to embrace and practice Positive Thinking. He always finds a way of including the expression, “Pensamento Positivo!” during our exchanges. He is right. Thoughts are powerful. We must practice to imagine only the best outcomes.
These days, when I catch myself having negative thoughts, I tell myself, “Delete.” This is a reminder to pause, acknowledge that the thoughts I am having are not good for me. It works as a command to get rid of negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones. I tell myself, “Delete! Positive Thinking!” And this simple technique works for me.
One way of worrying less is to focus on the here-now by practicing mindful living.
So, pay attention and be alert. Stay in the here-now as much as possible, but do not use the here-now as an escape from facing your problems. Deal with your problems, past and present ones, and prepare yourself for the future. Adequate planning is always healthy. Plan your work, and work your plan everyday. Do something, no matter how little, to better your life and achieve your dreams. Make promises and keep them; not only the promises you make to others, but especially the commitments you make to yourself. Be honest with your own self.
Again, the second precept of Reiki invites us to choose a worry-free life. How do we do it? Well, I have learned that reflecting on the Reiki precepts everyday, many times a day, and committing to put them in practice, is an effective practice to curb worries. Another way is to engage in techniques of mind control, such as meditation, mindful living, creative visualization, creative dreaming; these are many ways of removing negative thoughts and filling the mind with positive, happy dreams. And, naturally, employing the “Delete! Positive Thinking!” technique whenever negative thoughts arise.
Finally, another way of living a worry-free life is to be more like a child.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” I believe that the main aspect that differentiates little children from adults is the fact that little children are worry-free. They do not worry about the future. They do not spend any time imagining that bad things may happen. They are not afraid. Worry and fear are not part of their lives. They are immersed in the here-now, exercising their innate curiosity, discovering the world around them, and filling their lives with moments of awe while savoring the beauty, mystery, and wonder that surrounds them. Simply, little children are having a joyous worry-free time.
So here is a reflection on “Just for today, I will be free from worry…”
Just for today, I will be like a little child. I will not be afraid of anything. I will not worry about the past, present, or future. I will not fear danger or misfortune. I will not allow worry to grow within me. I will not succumb to fear. Today, I will be completely fearless. I will live this day without worrying. I will be happy. I will be curious, discover, and be amazed. I will play, have fun, smile, and have a great time.
Just for today, I will cultivate optimism. I will root out the weeds of pessimism and take good care of the plants of optimism. I will continue planting the good seeds, tending the good plants, and trusting that a plentiful harvest is coming soon to bless my honest efforts. I will keep doing the things I am being called to do trusting that every good thing is coming my way. Just for today, I will have a calm faith in a better tomorrow.
Just for today, I will use my mind to imagine, dream and visualize a happy life.
Just for today, I will not get anxious trying to do all the many things I believe I have to do in the limited time I have. I will take it easy. I will relax. I will enjoy life. I will consider that time is an illusion, that time is on on my side, and that I am (we are) ageless. I will not rush. I will not get upset if, at the end of the day, I wasn’t able to do what I set myself up to do. I will realize that many of the things I thought were important, were not that important, or not important at all. If I have been able to bring joy to someone else, and make someone else’s life better, I will feel happy for having had a good day.
Just for today, I will surrender to the Higher Power, and say, “Here I am. You know who I am and what moves me. You know that my intentions are pure. Help me give my gifts to the family of the Earth. Help me help others live better lives. Use me. Reward me abundantly. Give me a worry-free life!”
“Just for today, I will not worry.”
As Bob Marley’s song goes, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright.”
Go forth in joy, just like a fearless, worry-free child!