What About When a Bad Thing Actually Happens?

What About When a Bad Thing Actually Happens?

If you experience a lot of anxiety, ruminate frequently, worry chronically and overthink all the things, you’ve probably been told  ‘not to worry so much’ and ‘it probably won’t even happen’. 

I suffered with anxious thinking and lived in a persistent tangle of worry and rumination for a lonnnnnng time and I wanted to scream SHUT THE FUCK UP to these well-meaning but totally annoying people. 

Their platitudes were rarely of comfort, and only made me feel worse. 

“Ok, so 97% of our worries don’t come true?” I’d read, when scouring the internet for the thing which was going to fix me. 

“But how am I supposed to know what will happen and what won’t?”

Knowing there was a chance, no matter how tiny, of my worries ‘coming true’ was enough to keep my brain sifting, sorting and pseudo-solving for many years. 

When I was first coming across the understanding that I share around here (y’know, how our experience is coming from thought and that our bad feelings are only telling us we’re pretty full up of thought right now and to hang out and let it settle) I took great comfort in knowing that the worse I felt – the more worried I was, the more anxiety I experienced – the less I needed take my thinking seriously. 

This is the same for my clients. They love the freedom that comes from knowing our shit feelings are telling us about the trustworthiness of our thoughts in the moment, not forecasting impending doom in our lives.  

That’s all very well, but understanding the nature of thoughts and feelings doesn’t prevent bad stuff from happening. 

(yeah – sorry).

So what, then?

Many of us think that worry/overthinking/anxiety (all the same – just a ton of thought) are kinda useful, to a point. 

We recognise when worry/overthinking/anxiety are causing ‘problems’ – leaving us mentally drained, sucking the joy out of our existence, leading to behaviours we don’t like such as procrastinating, drinking, avoidance – but we still need them a bit, don’t we?

Because it’s only through worrying and thinking that we are able to solve stuff, right?

WRONG. WE ARE SO WRONG. 

Sorry for caps, but this is exciting news. We don’t solve problems, come up with solutions to issues or sort anything out by worrying and overthinking. 

EVER. 

All the solutions and answers that have ever occurred to us have happened in SPITE of our worrying, overthinking and ruminating. 

Us humans, like all of nature, are ‘powered’ by the cool energy of life. Call it what you want – some people call it the Universe, or God, it doesn’t matter, pick what resonates with you (and getting caught up in the words can keep us stuck so don’t overthink it you little overthinker).

I like to call it simply ‘nature’, or ‘the intelligence behind life’.

We all know this on a level, from the brightest scientific minds that ever lived (Einstein, David Bohm) to the most enlightened yogi’s to sit atop a mountain (Buddha and his friends), to the regular dad across the road rumbling the recycling bin to the kerb, that there’s something ‘bigger’ than us that spins the planets, turns tiny acorns into towering oak trees, creates babies from a few gazillion cells, points flowers toward the sun, sparks all the ideas ever had, and other really cool shit. 

That energy, that nature, that intelligence, lives through you and me and your dog and your boss and your dentist and the leader of the opposition political party. 

While ‘it’ doesn’t have an agenda or plans for us, it’s constantly routing us toward thriving. 

It’s the source of wisdom, creativity and fresh thinking and it’s always available. It’s only ever covered up by our very human and very erroneous psychology; conditioned patterns, beliefs and habitual thoughts. 

Why does this matter?

When something bad happens – which it will – you won’t have to have already worried over it to find the solution, you won’t need to have planned for the thing which may or may not happen. 

If something bad happens, you’ll be taken care of by this nature, this energy, by ‘the power of the universe’ or whatever you want to call it. 

You can completely trust this. 

What to do in the moment will be revealed when needed, and not a second before. 

If you are finding relief from seeing your anxious/worried feelings as JUST a sign of a full-up, speedy, untrustworthy mind (yay for that) but thinking you still need to ‘plan for’ or ‘solve’ potential future problems, please know that you do not. 

What, so … just do nothing?

Not necessarily. There’s nothing you ‘need’ to do. It’s covered. 

What do I mean by that? If there’s something to be done, it will occur to you with such a quiet obviousness that you may not even realise you are ‘doing something’. 

You may find yourself making a list, looking something up, calling someone, taking a walk, anything really. 

It’s ok if you don’t believe me right now. Why would you? It looked like you were solving all the things this whole time. 

But wouldn’t it be awesome if, actually, you’ll be taken care of no matter what happens? That it’s not on you? 

Try it out for yourself 

So you don’t want to wait until a Bad Thing happens to see if this ‘works’? Understandable. 

My clients and I experiment with a low-key, low-impact, ‘lite’ event. 

If you want – and only if you want – give it a go with something like a planning session at work (or pick your own). 

Instead of spending the weeks leading up to it fretting, running numbers, searching for ideas, imagining what other people will say and how you’ll respond, let Life take over. 

You may find yourself putting together a few notes as they occur to you. You may find yourself checking that your favourite jacket is clean to wear on the day. You won’t really have to ‘think’ about this, it’ll just happen. 

The best bit – and I see this over and over and over for myself and my clients report the same – is the fresh inspiration that comes in the moment, at the meeting, when minds aren’t cluttered with worries. 

Have fun experimenting 

P.s. If you are struggling with this idea of an ‘intelligence’ helping us out all the time, then reach out to me here and let’s chat. I will help you see a different way.