Riding Worry

I ride the potentially fear producing thoughts these days with greater ease than before.

This is what I do.

‘Oh there’s a scary thought, hello I see you, smile, goodbye’, poof, gone! Gently quietly, no fuss, no drama, no story. Carry on, feel at ease.

And then there are some thoughts that get in. This morning that happened.

A thought arrives that I give attention to, then that turns into a group of them in quick succession that sound really really convincing.

Maybe there is even some evidence that there’s a danger of some kind to be avoided in one of them.

For me, armed with only partial knowledge of what I owe HMRC, I imagine that I can’t pay them. I imagine the hostility I will receive from them and the demands and threats. I look at what I have and what I think I owe and I don’t have enough.

As I’ve downsized my business, even though my bills are going to be lower going ahead, there’s some previous VAT owed, that was based on a much higher turnover than I have now. My smaller income needs to pay those big bills. I feel scared right now!

I am writing this partially so that I can look back on this in a month or two and see that it is now history and that I survived. And contrast that with the ‘threat to life’ feelings I’m experiencing right now!

Oh the mind. Yes fear does have a purpose. We are wired for it to protect us when real dangers to our existence were all around. That’s been for most of our evolution.

Even 100 years ago a women could not walk through a city herself at night safely. Even now actually to an extent.

So while we live these lives of relative ease, the wiring is in there. We perceive threats when the threat is so very often not real. Our brains are ‘trigger happy’ when it comes to perceiving danger.

So I’m going for a walk in the park across the field along the river with the dog. Then I’ll dye my hair, get milk and dog food at the shop, go to the hairdresser and drop off my van for a service and walk home.

Life goes on. I may ask my accountant what I owe so I know, even though I’m scared of finding out that it’s even more than I imagine. Once I know I can make a plan and do my juggling act that I’ve been doing for 15 years.

And a further observation that this has come the day after I publicly announce here that I am feeling happy and well. Noted.

Compassion towards myself and to us all on this journey xxx

“Our ancestors could make two kinds of mistakes: (1) thinking there was a tiger in the bushes when there wasn’t one, and (2) thinking there was no tiger in the bushes when there actually was one.

The cost of the first mistake was needless anxiety, while the cost of the second one was death. Consequently, we evolved to make the first mistake a thousand times to avoid making the second mistake even once.”

~Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

P.S. I just braved asking the accountant what I owe and it’s not as much as I thought. She also said HMRC are having big delays so there’s no rush to pay it, whew. So there is the evidence that tormenting ourselves with worry thoughts is pointless!

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