Most of the time I'm upbeat about everything in life...
But other times, I'm a real downer,
anticipating the worst in every situation.
When I'm feeling like Charlie Brown in this picture, I try to remember
that success isn't forever and failure isn't fatal.
Putting a halt to my worrying when I'm in a panicked state of mind
is no small task! During those moments, the last thing I can do is
take the advice of Bobby McFerrin:
"Don't worry; be happy!"
So what's a fella gonna do when feeling gloomy, doomy, and worried to death?! Well, you can always use
me as an example. Here's my history with worrying...
My mother qualified as the most fearful person on the planet. She was agoraphobic which means being fearful when it comes to just about anything and everything -- to the point where just going out of
the house feels like a serious danger. So, not surprisingly, all of her
children became real "champs" in the worry department.
I like to think that most of the time, no one really suspected how I
worried about so many things. I always put on a fearless front,
but was really often quaking on the inside with thoughts like:
"Am I REALLY good enough?"
At school, at work, at sports, with family and friends, with relationships of any kind, with writing...the
list could go on and on. I even worried about how I was performing for my shrink who was valiantly trying to
break me of the habit of worrying!
Then there was the other kind of worry that could
easily darken my day:
"What am I going to do if this goes wrong?"
"When is the next shoe going to drop...for me or
for anyone I love or care about?"
On this particular downward track, I would worry about my future, my health, my next test, my next
speech, my next big decision, my stubbed toe, etc., etc.
My worries sometimes knew no bounds -- i can even pinpoint exactly what YOU should be worrying
about and then worry about it for you! Hey, after all, what else are good friends for?
Oh, woe is me, how is this habit of thinking going to end up?! Well, thirty years ago, a book called You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, serendipitously fell off a
shelf right onto to my head while i was roaming through a book store in Los Angeles. My rule of thumb
is that if a book has been recommended to me three or more times, I have to read it. What about a book falling on my head?
No questions asked, i had to buy that book!
Flying home the next day, I devoured You Can Heal Your Life cover to cover. The ideas in this book
boggled my mind. But it was also the best medicine for someone like me (or maybe you) -- replete with the "worry gene" or sometimes grappling with that tricky issue of self-esteem.
(And, as far as I can tell, that covers just about EVERYBODY!)
The book started with the concept that we pick our parents before we are born. WHOA! That was a
hard one for me to wrap my head around. I loved my parents but, why the hell would I have picked
Louise Hay wrote about a lot of things she believed in - like reincarnation - which somehow made sense
to me coming from her. Hey, I said to myself...if reincarnation could possibly be true, just about anything goes. Maybe I actually did pick my parents!
Then Louise Hay started talking about the power of using affirmations, which are positive statements to
say or write down that you would like to be true, but haven't managed to master quite yet.
As far as I was concerned, the toughest one she
advocated for was to look in the mirror and say:
"I love and accept myself exactly as I am."
What?! You gotta be kidding! But after years of working on it, on a good day,
I can now recite this affirmation without laughing out loud.
(Although I must confess that I still cannot bring myself to gaze into the mirror while doing this. There IS a limit to how far a girl can go!)
The long version of this Louise Hay affirmation goes:
"When I love myself and find myself in the midst of
a negative situation, I can say something such as,
"I am willing to release the pattern in my
consciousness that contributed to this condition.
I have made negative choices in the past, but this
does not mean that I am a bad person, nor am I
stuck with these negative choices."
I release old judgments and love myself unconditionally."
Now. If all this self-love ain't "floating your boat" or simply is not
working for you yet, you can always try one of my favorite prayers:
On particularly rough days when
I'm sure I can't possibly endure,
I'm glad you remind me that my
track record for getting through
bad days so far is 100% and
that's pretty good.
To pass onto a friend, see below.
Who is Kathleen Pasley?
Kathleen has a life that encompasses numerous
areas of endeavor: writing, fundraising, marketing
Two things help define her: she has been on
a serious spiritual path for 35 years and has
known serious depressive episodes.
She is committed to speaking from the heart
on spiritual issues and sharing honestly
and openly about mental illness.