The Daily Groove

Worry Less, Love More

Perhaps you've been led to believe that worrying about children goes hand in hand with loving them. But in truth, parental love is far more powerful without worry than with it.

Worries focus all your attention on what you don't want and put you in a state of fear. This sends a message to your child that you expect bad things to happen. And since children naturally tend to meet their parents' unspoken expectations, worries are self-fulfilling prophecies.

Today, if you catch yourself worrying, don't worry about it. :)

Instead, use your awareness of worry to shift your focus in the direction of what you do want, and reach for thoughts that soothe your worries:

"It's not the end of the world."
"It won't last forever."
"I've successfully handled worse situations."
"We always find our way."

Before long you'll start feeling hopeful, and you'll feel your heart opening, too. An open heart is all you need for love to flow unconditionally... unhindered by worries.

Comments (closed)

Re: Worry Less, Love More

The email w/this article came at a great time for me. I tend to be a worrier and it's not always about parenting - work is a big source of worry and stress for me. Things have been particularly trying at work lately and reading this reminded me that persistent worry is not a necessary part of my existence, even when things are not going the way I would like. I even shared some of the thoughts with my coworker.


Re: Worry Less, Love More

This was on my mind just last week, and I was thinking about writing in (my first post!). My source of worry is the bad things that could happen to my kids in the outside world. My otherwise low key and wonderful Mum in law reminds us weekly on our family call of the latest child abduction, pedophile case, or murder. She keeps telling us to never let our eyes off the kids in public places. This all adds up to me being on edge anytime my 3 year old runs off in the grocery store or my beating myself up for weeks because I let my attention on her drop while talking to a friend during a walk in the city. I find it very difficult to put these sort of incidences in perspective. I understand that my worrying doesn't help me keep them any safer, but some part of me tells me that the fear keeps me vigilant and that is my job as a parent. Any tips on how to relate better to the 'big bad world'?

Re: Worry Less, Love More

...some part of me tells me that the fear keeps me vigilant and that is my job as a parent.

Well, there's vigilance and then there's hypervigilance. The former is more like alertness or awareness; the latter is typical of anxiety disorders like PTSD.

The sensationalized media have trained modern parents into a state of low-grade, chronic anxiety, and now your mother-in-law is doing their job for them!

Your "job" as a parent is to be centered, present, attuned with your children, and connected to your Inner Guidance. Fear undermines all but the last of those, and it distorts your Inner Guidance if you don't understand what it means.

Statistically, a child in the U.S. has a 1 in 10,000 chance of being abducted by a stranger. But that's a bit misleading because the odds for a "stereotypical" abduction (where the child is kept, killed, or held for ransom) are closer to 1 in 200,000. To put that in perspective, the odds of being killed in a traffic accident are about 1 in 8000.

Your child is more likely to die in a car crash than to be abducted, yet you don't freak out with worry every time you drive. Why? Because you and your children are not statistics.

Statistics don't tell the whole story. People who are reasonably healthy and careful are far less likely to die in traffic accidents than people who are careless, alcoholic, or otherwise lacking in presence. Likewise, children who are used to being treated with respect and who've been taught to follow their Inner Guidance are far less likely to be targeted by predators.

But if you teach your children that the world is a "big, bad" place with danger lurking around every corner, their insecurity will make them attractive to predators.

So redirect your thoughts to the 99.99% of children who will be abduction-free this year. Focus on the abundance of love and aliveness that don't get reported on the evening news. And count your blessings relentlessly until you radiate a vibe of positive expectation that your children can feel. Then, when you get a gut feeling that some situation is dangerous, you'll know you can trust it and respond accordingly.

Re: Worry Less, Love More

Thanks for the statistics and perspective, Scott. I've been mulling over your response and noticing the big ball of wound up fears and anger that are waiting to be steeped in attention, loosened up, and let go. It looks like one of my next emotional projects.

I noticed that I was already a little lighter at the grocery store last weekend, and was pleasantly surprised (though I probably shouldn't have been), that Lucie, my 3 year old, didn't need to run off as much as she has before. We ended up really connecting and shopping *together*, instead of me half shopping - half chasing and she seeing how far she could run.

It sometimes it just takes an intention to get things pointing in the right direction. Thanks, again - Lana