Saturday, July 7, 2012

On... the Worry Wall

My dear friend (You know who you are, don't you? Ha you are worried that I am writing about you. That is ok, you'll know what to do after you read this) was a bit worried about a particular subject that I won't go into here.  "Worry" It got me thinking...such a burden to bear!  Right there is a it "bare" or "bear"? I googled it and now I am not worried!  What if there was something that could be done for worriers? And, I will admit...though it was my friend that prompted this subject,  I also fall into the category of worriers. 

is gonna be alright." trust in the universe...images of contentment, sand dunes, beaches, laughter, and tropical drinks with umbrellas in them.  Will it all really be alright?  Maybe, if we simply believe that.

The answer is somewhere IN the mirror.

Worry free, my friends...

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, can you help me solve them all?"

After I added notes to my worry wall and started experiencing the freedom of time (an hour, a day, an evening...) without worries. I wanted to share this  idea with, I googled it, only to find out that I am not the first to think of putting worries on a wall...there are all kinds of worry wall type philosophies!  Which, if they are so popular must mean that a lot of people are worrying...that puts us in good company, yet also makes me feel sad that there are so many worries in so many peoples lives.  But, this one exercise, I must say, is easy, cheap, and does help!  I haven't solved all of the worries on my wall, but, as each is solved it is very satisfying to pull that post-it off the mirror and toss it away!  I have also found that it is almost as satisfying to put the worry on the wall as it is to take it down. I can now take off one of those post-its!  "Write On article about worrying!"

On the wall and off my mind!
A worry wall, worry mirror, or prayer box (tip: boxes are more discreet, but less visible, so  depending on the situation a box might be the perfect thing)  are all ways of putting our fears and concerns away for the moment.  Give them up for a while and find peace and joy  in things that are not written on the worry wall.

Have you seen the YouTube video of Emmanuel Kelly singing?   Watch it; it is amazing!  Watch through the end and hear one of the judges mention the frivolities of our worries.  Wow.

So, is it that the worries will always be there...even when things on the outside look good?  Every life has its worries and seemingly every generation and culture has worries.  A friend and I were driving along one day and pulled up to a stop light next to a woman and apparently her daughter, laughing and enjoying a carefree day in their sporty convertible.  My friend and I looked at each other, no words...but, we both were a bit envious of the wealth and fun they were enjoying.  We stopped long enough to hear the daughter ask the mother what time her chemo appointment was that day.  Then, they laughed about something and drove off, with the mother's scarf blowing in the wind and laughter fading as they drove on.

Doris Day sang, "Que sera, sera, what will be, will be, the future is not ours to see...que sera, sera."  My mom used to sing that to us growing up whenever we asked her "what will happen" questions.  To this day, I find that song calming and comforting.

Remember, "Don't worry, be happy!" and all the smiley face t-shirts?  Same concept. You can choose to be happy and set your worries aside.

Bob Marley sings, "Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing

Who hasn't worried about fabric?
The book, "Unclutter Your Life", by Katherine Gibson, was recommended to me just this week when I brought up the subject of worrying to a friend.  She said it speaks to a feng shui approach that would be good for worriers.  My guess is that it is also a good book for those who worry about reading books that should be on their "I read that" list.   I'm told that Gibson speaks of "trust in the universe."  If you do something wrong or buy something that wasn't quite right or for pete's sake (who is pete?) make a bad decision, can it be corrected in your universe?  How bad can it be?  I can't wait to read it (but I'm not worried about it)!

Then I started thinking of my own worries that could be added to this mirror.  I began scrambling for post-its and writing one worry per note.  Cathartic!    Write it down and forget it (sort of)...more like setting it aside.  I came up with worries that were life changing events, and worries that revolved around buying more post-its for the mirror!  Worries of what car to buy and worries about that color combination in the newest quilt project spread out on the floor. With so much thought about this subject of worrying,  I decided I should write about all this, so I added a "worry" for that..."write On article about worrying"!

So, I wrote this "worry" on a post-it note and stuck it on a wall mirror.  I went about my day and happened upon the "worry" every time I passed by the mirror.  Just enough times to plant it as needing to be addressed, but also able to put it out of my head as I knew it would be there when I passed by again.  And, enough times to get my mind working every so often and a bit subliminally on a solution to that "worry" so that I could eventually help my friend alleviate this worry from their worry plate, or in this case, mirror.

So, back to my first friend.  I said, "Give me the worry.  I'll write it down and you can forget about it for today."  Because, it was not likely to be solved that day, and the "feel good" of the writing it down  is almost as good as sharing it with someone - but, there is no advice or judgment requested or imposed.

Shinto Prayer Tree at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL
Friends tell friends their worries to "get them off their chest."  What a relief when the burden of a worry is lifted!  If you are a "needy" friend, you might have so many worries that you worry if you share your worries too much!  Oh my...worrying about worrying! Yikes!  A friend of mine gave me a t-shirt that says, "Careful, or you'll end up in my novel."  Who is going to tell a writer their worries for this very reason?  Luckily, my friends know that I will never say their name....unless they want me too. they then worry that that might not be the case someday?

Prayer Box from my friend
I have shared my worries with dear friends throughout the years and they have responded with empathy, advice (Ahhh...the dreaded advice! Need it, but never want it!) encouragement, discouragement, wisdom and stupidity.  Empathy, I believe is far the superior response That is all we want, right?  Sometimes advice is great, if it is good advice, but how often does that happen?  One of the best gifts I have ever received was a small pink box from my long time girlfriend.  She said it was a prayer box to "put my prayers and worries in." She said that I would be surprised that when I write them down, and go back and read them later how many of them have been solved.  I did that for a while...and yes, the worries went by one, I tossed out the papers.   A friend of mine told me of the Shinto Prayer Trees in Japan, where prayers are written on paper or cloth and tied to trees.  It is a "giving up" of the worry.

Mirror, mirror on the worry wall, who is the worriest of them all?

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