“Don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an Algebra equation by chewing bubblegum”
Baz Luhrman, Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).
I used to be in a situation where if I felt that I did not have anything to worry about I had to find something to worry about. Something inside of me seemed to take comfort in creating discomfort in my life. I classed myself as a worrier and had accepted that this is the way I was supposed to be!
Having started coaching on this, I felt that I was finally starting to understand where this worry was coming from, and I was reacting to it from a fear space, rather than addressing the worry and moving on from it. One of the worries that came up during my coaching session was about not being able to drive home because of the snow (this was actually before the snow had started, little did I know how much travel chaos the snow was actually going to cause for everyone during November and December :-(). Having addressed the worry, I had to ask myself the question, what if? What if I could not get home because of the snow?? The answer at that point was I would need to find another place to stay, or another form of transport in order to get home. I had to put myself in the present, rather than worrying about what was going to happen in the future.
After receiving coaching I did feel a move towards being less of a worrier, however an experience during my holiday in January to Malaysia really brought things home to me and made me realise how minimal my worries were compared to what some people have to face every day within their lives, and I really need to appreciate the situation I am in.
Having been in Malaysia for a week, we flew over to Indonesia for a four day break, to a place called Medan. Walking through the airport we could see that this was a place where poverty and hardship are part of everyday life. I would say that I am quite an emotional person, and instantly I felt that this has an effect on me, and I started to feel sorry for every single person I saw. We jumped in the taxi and headed to our hotel, with rather a lot of anticipation. It was late at night and having driven through several shanty towns we took a left and arrived at what can only be described as a little piece of paradise (we stayed at Hotel Deli River).
This was step one of my realisations, out of a bad situation can come good, that little piece of paradise in the middle of so much deprivation.
Whilst I was there, I probably had the most humbling experience of my life. The Hotel manager advised us that there was a local man who came to the Hotel to do massages, the unique thing about this man, Tony, was that he was completely blind, and had been so since birth. Having booked our massages for 3pm that day, we made our way from the pool to our room, and sitting outside was Tony, well turned out with his little bottle of Johnson’s baby oil in his short pocket.
Step two of my realisation, I am so lucky to be happy and healthy in life!
My fiancé and I both had hour long massages, costing a total 180,000 Rupiah, the equivalent of about £11. Step three of my realisation, Tony was putting his absolute trust in us to give him the correct money, and we did, with an extra 150,000 Rupiah as we could not believe what we had just had for a mere £11. And that was it, Tony went on his way, back to his life outside this little paradise and we were to return back to the poolside and get on with our holiday. Trouble was, I could not stop thinking of the situation we had just experienced, and how good I have things in life.
Over the next few days I feel like my realisation was finally completed, the things I had been worrying about were so so small in comparison to what Tony was going through, and made me feel quite selfish. The whole experience was extremely humbling, and highlighted the trust that Tony faced in everyday situations. Was he sitting around worrying where he was going to get his next meal from, no! He was out, earning a living, and not allowing, what we would perceived as a disability by us, to stand in the way of him earning a living.
I feel that this was a life changing situation and had three major key learning’s:
1. No matter how bad I think I have it, there are always other’s who are worse off and I need to appreciate what I have, here and now.
2. Have a sense of humility in all situations, no matter how tough or dark they may be.
AND most importantly
3. Don’t sweat the little things in life!!!!!
Nowadays if I start to feel the need to worry about something, I think back to Tony and remind myself how blessed I am in life 🙂