Don’t Worry Be Happy

Written by Tobi Warzinek

Instead of telling you “don’t worry be happy” I am here today to help you liberate your worries. Yes, that’s right – feel free to worry!

“What?! Feel free to worry? But that’s a bad thing, isn’t it? Shouldn’t we be happy and elated all the time? Singing? Dancing? Aren’t we supposed to get rid of bad things, kill them, eliminate them and… slash the heck out of them?” Well, I would say that even though this might be necessary sometimes (very rarely actually), there are other ways to deal with worries. Being worried about worrying will certainly not help you to feel any better on the long run. Let’s explore some of the other – and often overlooked – options.

Don’t worry! Seriously – STOP worrying so much!

Ugh, quite an aggressive approach actually. It comes out of an equally intense resistance to the fact that we are worrying sometimes. This is understandable when we consider that it doesn’t feel nice to worry. And we all know this nasty feeling that we have when we worry. Out of this understanding we often tell our friends not to worry in an effort to help them make their life a bit more comfortable. Isn’t it the case that everybody benefits from and likes to hang out with friends who are at ease. It’s just not nice to hang out with someone that’s worrying, isn’t it? We’d rather have them happy, being able to entertain and comfort us. So we say: “Don’t worry so much”.

Let’s face it: All too often we say this because we ourselves are quite uncomfortable with the condition of worrying. If we came from pure kindness or compassion we would first listen to the other person, receiving the truth of their experience with openness. We would allow them to feel what they feel and give advice only if it is asked for in some way. Most people are incredibly grateful when someone is “just there” for them, listening with an open heart. Giving them and their experience some space is already beneficial and even helps them to heal. We would certainly not ask them to stop worrying or belittle their experience in any way as it wouldn’t lead to an opening of the heart which is necessary at this stage.

It will all be fine… Hush hush!

“Yes, it will all be fine. But NOW I’m stuck and I need your presence, your heart, your ears. I am in desperate need of kindness of stillness, someone being there without trying to shut me up in some way. I don’t need you to tell me to “meditate more” or to seek my pleasure within some distant future moment where all is supposed to be fine. I’m falling and I need you to catch me within your restful space, not to divert me.” This is how people open feel when they open up to you with their worries. We all are in need for people to listen to us most of the time.

This is because we are unable to listen to ourselves or “leave ourselves alone” for a while. Leaving yourself alone means not to approach ourselves with any agenda, control or force for a little while. Not needing to be different. Getting to know yourself deeply, making friends with who you are, relaxing into what IS instead of trying to be as you “should be”. Feeling that we need to function in society, always happy, always healthy and always beautiful is putting an enormous pressure onto us. No wonder that we often worry. And no wonder that our attitude towards worrying is often one of “something is wrong with me/him/her/it and I need to fix it so I/he/she/it can continue to function properly”. Hush hush!!!

The alternative – Freedom!

Instead of harassing yourself or others for worrying try this approach: Free your worries from your own oppression! Leave them be there for as long as they want to be. Receive them with a kind attitude, as a friend, a spacious listener. Where do you feel your worries within your body? Can you feel your breath as you worry? How does it affect your worrying? What happens if you are talking to your worries in a nice way, soothing them, comforting them: “Hey guys, I will leave you to your process. I know you are not out of place and you have your causes. I will just let you dance for as long as you need to.” It’s fine to worry, it’s normal. And for this process to heal all you need to do is listen well with kindness. Force doesn’t work with worrying.

Quietly sit down with your worries and  treat them with great kindness for a good while. See what happens to them. Often times all we need is someone to listen to us, someone to receive us with kindness. It will melt all the drama and help us to feel supported and carried by life. In a world where it’s all about “me trying to function/look/behave properly so I deserve to be loved/seen/appreciated” we are bound to worry a lot. It’s totally normal! The first step to healing therefore is to be able to receive your worries – not block them out, silence them with reasoning or numb them with chemicals. This is what we learn when we meditate. We learn to be with ourselves fully and peacefully. We learn to leave ourselves be, listen to ourselves and give the gift of our silent presence. This is healing, it is kind and it is highly transformative!

The Solution – Answers from Stillness

If you can manage to leave yourself and others alone, a natural type of wisdom often takes over. It comes from silence. If you are able to be with yourself or others through a bout of worrying and receive the process within inner silence you will be surprised at the results. I found that not only worrying stops but within the inner silence there are often “answers” in the form of inspiration. A natural inner wisdom can only grow if you learn to be with what is and become quiet enough so you can “hear with your heart”. Sometimes I can see this inner wisdom within others. They come to me with great worries on their mind. I just listen and leave them be with their own process. In many cases they suddenly come up with their own solution and inner guidance system.

This is because we are tapping into a source of power that lies within. You can only access it if you learn to become quiet. You can only become quiet if you learn to leave everything as it is and turn your attention inward with kindness and patience.

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Tobi Warzinek - Meditation Teacher

About The Author

Tobi Warzinek has been working as a spiritual guide and mentor since 2009. His journey started in early 2002 when he entered the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rabten Choeling. He spent approximately 7 years in the community and studied the Tibetan language, mind-training and various meditation methods. Additionally he trained in traditional monastic debate and Buddhist philosophy. In 2011 he subsequently began practicing within the “Forest Tradition” in Thailand. Altogether he has dedicated his life to the exploration and refinement of introspection throughout the past 18 years.

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