We all know it’s unproductive and mostly pointless, but it remains compelling nevertheless. In my own experience of it I think this is at least in part because it provides me with the illusion that I am doing something when really I’m just spinning my wheels going nowhere. It is, in short, a great way to avoid real responsibility for engaging more constructively with whatever challenges face me.
What not to do? Well, there are plenty of non-constructive ways to deal with the tendency to worry, one of my favourites being to cover it up with a sense of self-righteous indignation and anger. Anger can be an artful dodge though as well. The real usefulness of both worry and anger is in the fact that they can make us aware that something in our life requires our attention and focus. That’s about it.
They are an invitation to grow beyond the confines of where we have come in our life to this point. This is often a discomforting prospect and so the temptation to avoid any meaningful engagement may be great. Show up anyway. Put worry in its place – recognize that it changes nothing and distorts reality in ways that wildly compromise our ability to think well and function productively. Don’t hide in the shelter of your rage either, become curious instead.
Is there something other than, or in addition to, a protest parade that I can do that will lead to meaningful forms of change?
With the damping of both our worry and anger arises the possibility for visions of the future that focus on hope and in turn fuel ideas for ways of acting and being in the world that, small or large, wield power for positive change.
Focusing on dooms day scenarios will only make them a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Do you really want it darker?