Thursday, 14 June 2012

Giving Up The Habit Of Worrying

giving up the habit of worrying nine of swords aquatic tarot
 Aquatic Tarot © Andreas Schröter 
The Nine of Swords is all about worrying, anxieties and fears.

It's obvious when looking at the image: the woman seems to have just woken up from a nightmare, the background is pitch black, no glimmer of light, as if all hope and optimism has been lost.

The suit of Swords relates to the element air, which is associated with the mind, logic, reason and intellect.

The pattern on the blanket is a combination of a red rose and the symbols of the zodiac air signs, which suggests that anxiety is created in the mind based on emotional attachments.

Emotions can be irrational, and as a result worries and fears can be irrational, too:

"I've suffered a great many catastrophies in my life. Most of them never happened." - Mark Twain 

This quote sums me up quite nicely. When I was in my twenties, I suffered badly from anxiety, caused by irrational fears about illnesses (in my imagination I suffered from the most horrific incurable conditions), fears about the future (as a student I worried, if I would ever get a job and earn a living), fear of flying, fear of eating British beef.....

Hey! 25 years on, and I'm still alive despite some health issues, managed to get a couple of well-paid jobs along the way, but I was also unemployed a few times (worrying about "Will I ever get another job?"). British beef hasn't made me gone mad far, and I know now that all those horrible feelings of anxiety in my early adult years were a waste of time.

Let's face it: worrying serves us no purpose other than to make us feel tense and miserable, especially when we worry about things beyond our control.

"Worry, like a rocking chair, will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere." - Vance Havner

Instead, focus on generating kind and optimistic thoughts, so life can begin to flow into more positive directions. Focus on creating the life you want, rather than creating fears.

Try this:
"I keep the telephone of my mind open to peace, harmony, health, love and abundance. Then, whenever doubt, anxiety or fear try to call me, they keep getting a busy signal - and soon they'll forget my number."  - Edith Armstrong

It is true that most worries and fears are blown out of proportion. Many people worry too much, because they think too much. Over-thinking is a bit like over-eating; the heaviness makes it impossible to remain light and flexible.

"No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear." - George MacDonald

feel the fear and do it anyway
If you worry a lot, then this book
might help you
When people have negative thoughts regularly, they gradually become attached to them. Negative thoughts become a habit, and it's so damn hard to get rid of any kind of habit you have nurtured for so long.

What is the solution? 

Learn to detach yourself from negative thoughts. Detachment is letting go; acknowledge your worries and fears, but then release them, like soap bubbles that float up and away into the sky.

Think for a moment why you harbour these anxieties; do you need attention or reassurance? I needed lots of reassurance (=attention?) on a regular basis.

But one day I realised that reassurance was like a drug feeding my habit of fear.

I stopped asking for reassurance.

The trick is to break the cycle, stop feeding the fear...stop paying it attention...not letting it rule my life. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

I decided I have to let life take its course. Whatever will be, will be.

I went cold-turkey. It was tough, but I started to keep myself busy with adventures and creative projects that I enjoyed and helped me grow (yes, Tarot was part of that, too ;))

"Loneliness, insomnia, and change: the fear of these is even worse than the reality". - Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966 

Remember that when real difficulties crop up in your life, you will be stronger and more resilient than you think. Real difficulties, unlike the imaginary ones, can be overcome. 

Life isn't always a smooth ride. Something bad can happen tomorrow, next week or whenever, but it's beyond my control, there is nothing I can do about it except withdrawing from life, and I don't want to do that.

Nurture a desire to be free from negative thoughts:

"Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow."  - Philip Gulley

Let go and know that all will be well. Trust that life will take care of you. Have faith.

Don't let fears hold you back!

Warmest wishes,


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  1. "Detachment is letting go; acknowledge your worries and fears, but then release them, like soap bubbles that float up and away into the sky." I love this so much, thank you. I've had a pretty bad couple of days because I've allowed my worries to overtake me totally. I will take this image and meditate on it, thank you xx

    1. I'm so glad this image is helping you right now, thank you so much for your comment ;) xx

  2. Lovely post! Thank you for tackling such a sensitive subject!

    1. Thank you, Lindsay, it's great to see you here ;)

  3. Love it! This is so synchronistic :) I just had a chat about worrying with my daughter on the morning school run earlier this morning. She immediately got how pointless it was. Bringing 'worry' into the light of awareness immediately makes the shadows a bit smaller :) Thank you for this, Christiane! Will share!

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Yes, it's good to talk to children about it, so they don't end up in the worry trap, but have a healthy attitude to the uncertainties of life. Aged 12, my son needs the same support right now ;)

  4. I love your use of quotes Christiane. I'm amazed at how many you seem to have 'up your sleeve'.

    I particularly like "Worry, like a rocking chair, will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere."

    Are you willing to share your secret about how you find them?

    1. You can find quotes all over the internet. Just google "inspirational quotes" and loads of websites come up, and you can take your pick ;)

      I also own a massive quotations book..thousands of pages of quotes by famous people ;)


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