The Rocking Chair
If we take a close look at our lives, we realize that everything that has happened has been for a reason. The Lord has always provided what we needed when we needed it. But despite this, we often find ourselves worrying about the past and the future. We waste so much of our precious time in anxiety over things that may not even occur.
More often than not, there are two main emotions that lead to worry – guilt and fear. Guilt causes us to worry about the past – we want to repent for something we may have done or a do-over for something that may not have gone our way.
But of course we cannot go back in time; we cannot take back words we may have said; and we cannot undo the actions we have already put in motion. So how, then, will worrying help us?
The second emotion that leads to worry is fear. We like being in control of things around us because it gives us a sense of security. But how do we stay in control when we don’t even know what is to come next? That is when worry and anxiety kick in. We lose sleep over the prospect of what tomorrow may bring. Yet, we are also fully aware that we cannot change future events, so worrying is futile. We have often heard the saying that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair – it gives us something to do but it leads us nowhere.
When we worry, we feel helpless, powerless. And these feelings further fuel our fear and anxiety. It is a vicious cycle that we can break only by changing our perspective. The more empowered we feel – the more we sense we have that whatever happens, we will be okay – the less necessary worrying becomes
Where does the empowerment come from? We need to take a step back and ask ourselves a few key questions: Why are we worried? What are we worried about? Can we change anything by worrying? Chances are, we will be led to the same answer that we have heard time and again – that which is destined will happen. All we can do is prepare ourselves. As the Masters have said, we cannot control the weather but we can dress accordingly for it. If we can just remind ourselves of this simple truth, then what is the need for worry?
Hazur Maharaj Ji explains:
Worry never did help anyone and it never will. Rather, it puts one in a still more negative condition and depletes one’s energy. You will get what is in your destiny, but you must work for it. No one has ever received more than his share, nor can one receive it before it is due; so why fret and worry? Apply that energy to some practical work, with the proper mental attitude. Real happiness and peace are within you, and not in outer objects. So, do your duty in this world and do not fail to carry on your simran and bhajan regularly, every day.
In reply to another question on worrying, Hazur Maharaj Ji answers:
When we worry, we don’t have much faith in ourselves and we also show lack of faith in the Master. If we have faith, we leave the problem to him and will face what comes and let him deal with it. If we have faith that he’s dealing with it, let him deal with it. And anyway, worry won’t help you, worry won’t solve your problem. If it’s not going to solve your problem, then why worry? If an actor has been given a certain part to play, then why should he worry? He has to play that part. He has no option – he’s helpless. The part has already been written, so we have to play it. So worry is not going to solve any problem at all.
Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. III
By keeping these reminders close to our heart, we will be able to get up from our rocking chairs and move boldly towards living a positive life without worry, fear or anxiety.