Follow the Yellow Brick Road

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.” – Eckhart Tolle

Several conversations that I have had lately with women near and dear to me have centered around worry and fear.

What are you worrying about right now? Stop, take a breath, and listen.

What is robbing you of your happiness in this moment? What thoughts are sneaking in? What are they whispering to you?

Worry steals from the present; it robs us of the joy in the moment. It sucks us in, taunts us with its captivating dance, paralyzes us with its possibilities. It does nothing to secure or prevent a certain outcome; it has absolutely no bearing on what actually plays out.  Somehow we believe that imagining the worst makes us prepared for it if it happens, but what kind of reality does that leave us with? It may seem like we’re thinking of solutions or somehow preventing ourselves from a negative outcome, but we’re really just causing ourselves more of what we’re hoping to avoid. Focusing on the negative, or possibility of it, begets negativity; focus on the positive, focus on the upside, believe that everything will work out in the way that it is meant to. The only thing you have control over is how you respond to whatever that end result is – worrying about it won’t help you with that. If you’ve already overwhelmed yourself with what ifs and worst-case scenarios, it can prevent you from being open to a less than hoped-for result, finding the lesson or a reason to be grateful for it.

Take the Cowardly Lion, in the Wizard of Oz, for instance. The Cowardly Lion is afraid of all of the things; without Dorothy, it’s not likely the Lion would have made it through to see the Wizard. Dorothy, in her unyielding quest to get back home to Kansas and relentless positivity pushes on regardless of the uncertainties that she and her companions meet along the way. And, in the end, it turns out that the Wizard is nothing to fear. Behind the walls of the castle, the green curtain is pulled aside, the Wizard is revealed for what he is, and the travelers get exactly what they journeyed all the way to Emerald City for.

I do it too. I trip all over my insecurities, my worries and my fears. I have to remind myself to stop operating in my weaknesses, to stop undervaluing my worth, my skills and my abilities, to stop making up fifty-one endings to conversations or situations that haven’t even occurred, when I should just be focused on getting to the damn wizard.

We are all asked to dance with worry; accepting or declining that dance is our choice to make. Acknowledge the invitation, sit with it a moment, politely respond “thanks, but no thanks” and walk away; follow the path and see where it takes you rather than worry about what’s going to happen along the way.

Be present in the moment and put your trust in the one that is to follow. Embrace your inner Dorothy.


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