I worry. I try very hard not to worry – I breathe, I meditate, I take long walks but If I am really going to be honest – I worry. I worry a whole lot less these days – thanks to the breathing, the meditation and the long walks, but there are just those times that I worry.
It is not healthy to worry and as Dan Zadra says today in the ScreamFree quote, “it is a misuse of the imagination”. So I try harder.
Lately I have been spending some quiet time ( as the mother of adult children I do get to have some quiet time) visualizing what I want. What are my next steps in life? Where do I want to go from here? It helps me not to worry and it helps me to develop a plan.
When my children were young there were some times that I did worry. But even then, I tried very hard not to worry – I tried very hard to stay in the present and to think about what I wanted to see in my children when they were adults. My dreams for my children are coming true. Is that because I used to spend my very rare quiet times thinking about how I wanted them to be when they were adults? Possibly. I do know that thinking about what I wanted for them in the future helped me to develop the way I parented. Knowing what I wanted for them down the road helped me to clarify the way I wanted to parent today and then I was able to put that it into action.
So… Try not to worry ( it really is a waste of time), stay in the present when you are with your children, and if you get some quiet moments, ask yourself what do you want to see in your children as they get older. Use those quiet moments to really clarify what you want for your children and if you can do this, I know that eventually that is what you are going to get.
Have some fun today!
Hal’s Take: There are plenty of things to worry about as a parent. Sleep issues, food choices, media influences, friend selection, school struggles…you get the picture. But if you spend your time and energy worrying about what might happen, you will lose the power to do what you can in the here and now. And if you think about it, that’s all we really have.
Instead of spinning your wheels in the “what if” trap, take a more objective point of view. Use your imagination to create a positive future for your child. Imagine how you want them to be, who you want them to be friends with, what kinds of adults you want them to become. Then do what you can right now to make that dream a reality. You will be more pleasant to be around and so will your child.
-Hal Runkel, LMFT and author of ScreamFree Parenting