“My wife is not doing so well,” my coworker said, “And she may need a kidney. If I’m not a match, we are going to need someone else to donate a kidney. But yeah, she is not doing so well.”
I stood there and nodded.
My old habit is to nervously try to make things better. Talk too much. Give advice. Feel anxious and hopeless. Absorb pain. Worry.
More and more, I am trying to practice new habits. That day, I stood, arms at my side, palms open, shoulders relaxed. Calmly nodded. Looked into his pretty brown eyes. Quietly listening.
He paused and breathed deeply. I stayed silent and breathed with him.
After a few moments, he said: “It is what it is.”
I said, “Yeah. If I can help, please let me know.”
He repeated, “Yeah, not much to do really, it just is what it is.”
I said, “You are a good husband. You are doing your best.”
He said, “I love her.”
I said, “Yeah. You have been really good to her.”
We smiled and said goodbye, see you later, and I left. Things will work out. He is a grown adult who will figure it out.
Worries make me feel heavy, anxious, and sad.
Imagine you are on a hot air balloon. There are big worry sandbags weighing you down. We often don’t even realize that they are on our balloon taking up space!!! Meditation and mindfulness help you see your thinking. When you identify worries, you can question if they are useful or not. You can question if they are real or fiction. You can choose to think differently.
You can throw sandbags off your balloon and feel lighter.
Worries are heavy. Practice lightening up. Little by little, practice wishing people love and freedom from suffering. Practice trusting that people will work things out. Practice faith that people’s problems and issues are their spiritual curriculum, and they will benefit from figuring them out… themselves.
Healthy adults take care of themselves. Always. You might not like the way they’re doing it, but it’s not your life. It’s their life and their journey. They are learning. You aren’t needed.
How does that news feel to you? I hope it feels free.
Healthy adults don’t need you.
Neil Gaiman once wrote: “I like stories where women save themselves.”
Let people save themselves. Overcoming challenges makes people strong. If they call on you for help, be there. Otherwise, spend your time wishing people well. Encourage them. Love them. Then, get out of their business.
Oh hey… by the way, is your life perfect? If you’re human, it’s not. Great news! When you worry less, you now have more time to focus on yourself.
You’re not avoiding that, are you? 😉
Beautiful, gorgeous, wanting-to-help reader: It is wonderful when someone cares for you. You know what feels the best? Empowerment. Physical and emotional adulthood. Learning and knowing how to care for yourself. Asking for help from who you want to help you, when you need it.
Hey boo, I’ve got issues. I often feel scared and insecure. I struggle with people and body image and I wage an ongoing battle with “not being good enough.” I’ve written about my struggles in my blog. Overcoming them makes me stronger. More successful. More compassionate. Less anxious. Brave.
Please, please, please: Don’t worry about me. I’m an adult. I seek help. Lean on friends. Educate myself. Get stronger. Lighten up.
Want to join me in my new practices?: Worry less. Trust more. Love more. Accept more.