Sitting on the balcony of my hotel room and looking at the beach below, the eerie light cast shadows on the thousands of footprints in the sand. Lifting my eyes and searching to see towards the horizon only gave me a thick, almost tangible blackness. The darkness engulfed an ocean that I knew stretched for miles and miles, but it didn’t snuff out the sounds of the water crashing and splashing on the beach. The crash of waves was followed by a brief pause and then there was yet another wave creating the music of the night.
Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor
Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
Turn your face away from the garish light of day
Turn your thoughts away from cold unfeeling light
And listen to the music of the night
Andrew Lloyd Webber; Richard Henry Zachary Stilgoe; Charles Eliott Hart
Yes, that’s what my soul had been yearning to experience…the music of the night…the ocean and all those glorious waves that splashed and crashed on the beach in hypnotic rhythm.
My mind was filled with so many thoughts that echoed the emotions of my heart. My brother’s wedding on the beach earlier in the day was a beautiful, relaxing, peaceful, love-filled event that I had been looking forward to attending for several years.
There was also the fact that I was sitting on the balcony of a hotel that was so close to the ocean I could toss a rock into the waves. I had already seen one sunrise on the ocean and in the morning I would see another one.
Alone with the ocean and the night, I let my heart feel and my mind wander in hopes of finding answers to the questions twirling around in my head. Do you ever take the time to meditate or just think? Well, I did and do often in order to keep centered, focused, organized and quell the overwhelming fear, sadness or chaos that threatens to destroy my peace.
Why hasn’t a position that needs my experience and expertise been offered to me?
What should I be learning right now?
When will I be on a smoother path?
How do I let go of my daughter so that she can move close to her father?
Will I be able to enjoy a love that will last me the rest of my life or am I one of those people meant to live alone?
Did I make so many mistakes in my life that my future is forever doomed?
Do I have enough faith to believe in my ultimate success?
Is there still a reason to dream?
Where will I end up? Where will I be in five, ten, or twenty years? Where, oh where?
After letting all thoughts run amok for quite some time, I squashed their assault on my senses when I realized that I had become oblivious to the sounds of the ocean’s waves.
That’s enough, I told myself. I may have to go back to the rule of living one hour at a time. Well, really I may have to go back to five minute increments because life still seems too overwhelming at times with so much unsettled and unanswered. It would stabilize if I just had a good job again, my mind whispered. That’s all…just one job out of millions. Then there would be normalcy again and I would be able to better handle all the other things that are happening or not happening in my life.
“It will be okay and work out for your good,” I hear in my head. No, not my thoughts, but the words of so many people. Then my mind asked me how could so many people know such a thing about MY LIFE. They are biased because they like or love me. Maybe they are just being nice. I once again had to rein in my thoughts because the joy was swimming away on the waves of the ocean.
Now I’m living by the five minute rule. I can handle what I can handle during the next five minutes. Nothing beyond that matters. I can control myself. I can’t control people, places or things, but I CAN control me and that’s what I’m going to do. When I get right down to it, I have to ask myself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” We all know where that will take you EVERY single time. So obviously, it is not advisable, necessary or helpful to worry.
Worrying shows no faith which means hope doesn’t exist either.
14 Things To Do To Stop Worrying
There are things you can do to stop worrying and I’m definitely going to work hard at following my own advice.
- Identify your worries and write them down. Yes, you have to write them down.
- Decide which worries are productive and which are beyond your control.
- “Accept the things you cannot change.”
- Ask for help if you need it. Everyone needs help. Those people who don’t ever get help are the same people who don’t ever ask for it.
- Forget the time and take it one minute at a time.
- Exercise to relieve stress and increase health.
- It’s your life, so you can cry if you want to and feel the need to release the pent up emotions in tears.
- Take the trauma out of the fears by saying them over and over again until the incident becomes more normal.
- What’s the worst that can happen? I bet it all comes down to the same thing and all in all, it just isn’t THAT bad.
- Keep your mind AND hands busy. Your brain will find it extremely hard or impossible to store all the worries if you are mentally and physically active.
- Let go of the past. Stop pointing a finger of shame and guilt at yourself. The past is the past. Just don’t repeat the same stuff that made you unhappy.
- Talk and write down the analysis you make when you ask yourself, “Where did the fear come from and how does it make me feel?”
- Don’t worry about what other people say or think about you.
- Give yourself a break by not expecting yourself to be perfect in everything you do.
Now you are armed with tools to help you stop worrying…and so am I.
After deciding on the balcony to live by the five minute rule, I really relaxed and enjoyed the ocean that night. The wonderful opportunity to be AT THE BEACH was not passing me by unappreciated. When I finally went to bed, I left the door wide open and fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves sometimes hitting the beach and at other times caressing it.
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe ~