I’ve been having trouble with US customs lately that apparently stems from a comment my boyfriend innocently made when he had crossed on his way home. He’s American; I’m Canadian. In that comment, he mentioned my name, and for that reason, it appears, my name was written up. Since that time, I have been stopped, questioned, searched, etc.. It is aggressive and I don’t deserve it. And yet, as with many other travellers, it’s happening.
I tend to dwell on things that scare me, and unreasonable behavior scares me. What’s happening at the border is to me unreasonable. So I find myself attempting to make it make sense, going over and over in my mind what could possibly be behind it.
The truth is – and I know it – that I might never know. So why dwell on it? The past events are past; the future events will be whatever they are going to be. I have put into action what I can, and now it’s time to let it go. It’s out of my hands and will be whatever it’s going to be.
Well, it isn’t that easy. I find myself asking: have I looked at every angle? Is there anything I haven’t tried? Then, at some point, I’ll think of something and won’t let it go till I try it out. I’m like a terroir latched onto its favorite bone, gnawing away relentlessly.
Then for some inexplicable reason, I’m tired. Too tired to see friends, or work out, or even go for a walk. This gives me something more to worry about: my health.
It’s a pattern that you might be familiar with in your own life. If you were to begin to journal every time you found yourself worrying and dwelling, you might be astonished to find that the reason you’re so tired is because of all the energy used up on this activity.
It’s a form of time travel, the kind that uses up energy you could otherwise put to good use. It’s exhausting.
There’s a way of disconnecting ourselves from this pre-occupation. It isn’t easy. It involves coming to terms with our fears; in my case, it’s a fear of what isn’t reasonable, or seemingly logical. For you, it might be a fear of the unknown; of what’s around the corner that you can’t yet see.
It involves letting go of our plans, or our need for understanding and certainty, or for justice, or whatever it is that we feel is missing. It also involves retraining ourselves to re-focus on what we have the power to influence instead on what is out of our hands. Looking at new possibilities that we might otherwise never entertain.
When I begin to think that way, the fear that grips me disappears.
What about you?
If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for an sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.
Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!
Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .