I grew up with a mom who has a bit of anxiety problem. She has insecurity issues which resulted in her way of parenting me and my siblings. Don’t get me wrong, she is all caring and loving but she projected her anxiety and insecurity to her kids (read: us) where negativity and prejudice is part of her way in seeing life and any events in her life.
This absolutely shaped myself with my own insecurities and anxiety. I even have this anxiety condition called trichotillomania where I will start pulling my hair off when I get nervous, worried, or stressed. My insecurities come with all sort of reasons, from my appearance, my intellectual capability, how people think about me, financial security or any other future events that makes my brain play the “what if “ game.
Around 10 years ago, I have started what I called a journey to happiness. Yes, it is a long journey and it is still continuing. I started reading books about self discovery, happiness, awareness and love. Did it work? Yes because my hair is still long and not bald but No because I am still learning. One important thing I learnt is being aware of myself, my feelings and my thoughts. Differentiate pure facts and assumptions. This definitely helps me in reducing my anxiety, my insecurities. I will observe myself and often have a self dialogue to determine what is happening to me. It is not that easy, because often my heart was not aligned with my brain, but logical and rational thinking helped me to know whether I am just having an anxiety attack (read: being too worried) or I am indeed facing a difficult situation.
During this journey, I also learnt to live and enjoy the present. Well, this is also not easy for a person who has insecurity issues. Looking to the future and wondering what should I do now to prepare for my future is a constant battle in my head, especially when I am alone. I often think how much I should save to be financially secure for the future, what should I do now so my career is going upwards, or if I want kids, damn they are expensive.
Well, I got the same fear and anxiety attack when I was going to get married. What if it does not work, what if he cheats, what if I cheat, what if we get bored, what if… what if.. what if… But I finally decided to jump of the cliff and fly with him. It has been almost two years from our wedding, and almost five years in our relationship. Well, people say, it is still early in a marriage life cycle, but I am glad I took that decision. After all, all my worries become happiness and sweet memories. You know why? He was the one who taught me to live and enjoy the present. Not complicate life. And it turned out to be a fun ride with him.
One of my good friend passed away a few months ago. She was still in her 30s and she left behind a beautiful 2-years daughter and a loving family. It was devastating. I was very sad and got an anxiety attack. She was too young to leave her life and she had a beautiful family. I started the “what if” game again and thought what if I die tomorrow? What if my husband die tomorrow? What if my best friend die tomorrow? I was weeping in front of my best friend pouring all of my worries. But the one thing I then realized was: no one can predict the future. I don’t know when I would die or my love ones die. The one thing I am sure is they all are with me NOW, loving and caring each other. So NOW, the present, is the key. If I die tomorrow, I don’t want to leave the world knowing that I spent all of my life worrying about the future. I wanted to leave the world knowing that I was happy surrounded by lovely people, had a roller coaster ride that was hell fun and know that I got the chance to love people around me and enjoyed my life.
So should I worry about the future or just live and enjoy the present?