January 15, 2011

January 15: Staying in Today, Letting Tomorrow Care for Itself

Adapted for personal use from Courage to Change in Alanon.)

Recently I learned about a crisis in the life of a friend, who reminds me of my most problematic family member. Because the crisis activated my triggers, I felt responsible.

At work, I found myself unable to focus, depressed and distracted. Soon all thoughts of being productive had fled. I was busy projecting a horrible outcome for my friend's crisis, and dreading how the outcome would affect me and my family. 

The slogan, "One day at a time" reminds me that in spite of my fears and dread hunches, I do not know what tomorrow may bring.  Why am I leaping into the future? Perhaps this helps me to avoid feelings.  Do I need to be right? Have I not given room for myself to simply feel compassion? Part of me has always sought safety by predicting my emotional responses in advance. Or I gamble on worry, thinking that bad news won't hurt so much when it comes.  But worrying will not protect me from the future! It just keeps me from living in the here and now.

Today's reminder

HP,  help me to refrain from self-defeating behaviors. Exploring how I will feel about something in the future is just another self-defeating behavior. I cannot actually know how I will feel in the future, and the event I am dreading may not actually happen. Let me conserve my energy and remind myself that the future is not today's problem.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength." A.J. Cronin

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