I had a sheltered upbringing in many ways and am grateful for the many opportunities and experiences I had. As the youngest of four daughters, I had a lot of people looking over my every move. I know they were all trying to look out for me but it actually led to tremendous stress that I just accepted as normal and “part of life”. And I had unconsciously assimilated the same practices in my relationships with others as well.
Until a while ago, when I came across the idea that worry does not equate love. Worry is an emotion that’s based in fear. When you are worried about someone, you are teaching them that things are not going to be OK and that something bad is going to happen. It’s adding fuel to the fire. Your mind is focusing on the future what-if’s and trying to control the outcomes as opposed to productively responding to and being in the present. Worry is also contagious and often prolongs suffering and unease.
Take a moment and think about how you express your love for someone. When they are doing something you disagree with or feel like puts them at risk, what do you do? Do you try to convince them to change their mind? Why? Are you looking out for them or because you are trying to avoid feeling a certain way?
I know we all have the best intentions to love and care for those around us. As Eckhart Tolle says, “worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”. Choose concern and love instead. Share your thoughts below!