Throughout life I’ve come to find that I have a more anxious brain than others.
I figured anxiety was the explanation for why scary thoughts pop into my head like they do.
They are happening because of anxiety.
I remember as a child going to bed at night and thinking about my parents dying. Sometimes it would bring me to tears.
Similar thoughts still go through my mind, but often include my children. I hate the thoughts. I mean really hate them.
Here’s what I’ve come to learn: anxiety can trigger unpleasant thoughts, for sure. But it’s not just those with anxiety who have these thoughts.
We all do.
Some more than others, but to some degree we all have them.
Because all of us are faced with the same realities of the life.
Like the fact that our bodies are not indestructible and sickness and injury are very possible.
We all have to face the fact that the death rate is 100% and we are not guaranteed any certain amount of time on earth.
We all have the thoughts enter our minds about what it could feel like to lose that person we love so much.
Although we may do a good job of trying to distract from thinking about it, the truth is that life is short.
It doesn’t take someone with anxiety to think about this.
But scary thoughts don’t need to be consuming thoughts. They don’t need to be what we base our life on.
In fact, we can try to use these thoughts as something that benefits us.
What we love most is what we are most likely to have scary thoughts about.
So, when we worry about our children, we can use that energy to focus on intentionally loving them well.
We can take these fears and use them to remind ourselves what matters most to us and make our priorities align with that.
We can take these thoughts and use them to remind ourselves to live in today.
To soak it all in.
To love big.
To be grateful for what’s around us.
Because we aren’t guaranteed a certain amount of time here on earth.. but we do have right now.
Instead of focusing on the what if, we could instead focus on getting as much out of this day as possible.
And finally, we can also remember that after this life comes eternity, and that’s not something to fear.
It’s literally the best thing that will ever happen to us.
So if you find yourself having the scary thoughts, know that you aren’t alone.
But remember these thoughts can be like a compass, pointing you to what matters most to you.
So look around you, and take in today.
Hold your people tight and let go of the little things.
And remember to live in the truth and hope that the best is yet to come.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog