But what if something happens?

This letter writer is consumed by negative thoughts. 

Don’t panic, says our elder. Keep busy, take risks, and move forward with purpose.


Dear EWC

Hi, I know my situation is entirely brought upon by myself but I am unable to control it. Recently there have been many changes in my life that often put me out of my comfort zone. As a result of this, I have started to get more and more anxious. I am 27 years old and most of my thoughts are consumed by negativity. Mostly, the thoughts are about something that is going to happen to me. I know that we all are here with limited time but thinking about it scares me. While some days I am able to control my thoughts, other days, like today, they just consume me whole. I fail to distract myself and my entire body gets affected.


M_Markie replies

To be honest there are some things that we can’t control and that includes our destiny and death.

It might sound weird to you, but I’ve seen it played out in my own lifetime and those of others – we all have a destiny to achieve but it is unknown to us till we reach old age. In my mind that is not controllable, just as the time of our demise is not up to us either. Chance events happen and even bad things that happen, happen for a reason. All things are part of a grand plan. There is no reason to get anxious about that because things will work out for you. Having faith and belief helps to put all our abilities into action so that we move in the right direction.

I used to believe in the Serenity Prayer: “We have to learn to control the things we can, accept those we can’t and have the wisdom to know the difference.” I’ve learned though that there are some things that I can’t accept so I’ve decided to use all my powers and abilities to change them. I’ve been successful at times. I can tell you that change is inevitable, but it should not put you out of your “comfort zone.” Change is something I think we should accept and embrace with optimism and fortitude.

Fear can paralyze you and prevent you from taking appropriate action. It can cause you to panic. I’ve learned not to give in to fear and to avoid panicking. There was one time that I didn’t follow that and since I think it does illustrate my point I will take the time to describe it:

My brother, his wife and I were on a small rowboat with a small gasoline motor. Unbeknown to us, the anchor got loose, and we drifted into a channel. We saw a large freighter coming directly toward us. I said, “Don’t panic. I’ve got this.” So, I attempted to start the motor. I kept pulling at the cord, but nothing happened. The freighter was a mere 6 feet from us (I’m not exaggerating – it is common knowledge that freighters that have tugboats on their sides, can’t change their direction too quickly and if we got hit, it was the end) so I said very calmly, “Time to panic.” Just then (and that is why I’m so adamant about destiny and our time to go), a coast guard ship who saw us in distress threw us a rope. We held tight and were pulled to safety, just moments before the ship passed. Afterwards, my brother inquired, “I’ve never heard you talk about panicking. Why now?” My response was, “Logically in this case there was nothing left to do.”

I’ve cheated death more than once, so I know for certain that we don’t choose our time of death. I’ve also learned that fear is what fuels a panic attack. I’ve had several of those since my encounter with that freighter. Once you go into panic mode, it takes on a life of its own and is dangerous emotionally and physically. I learned that the only way to stop a panic attack is to say, “Ok, I’m ready. Give it your best shot.” Then like magic, the symptoms subside. You see, what has happened is you’ve confronted your fears and stopped them from controlling you. See, that is one of the things I’ve learned to control and not accept. I suggest that you can’t buy courage in a bottle. You dig down deep and you find it.

It is true that directing your resources toward purposeful action avoids idle thoughts from distracting you and causing you emotional discomfort. When I am upset, I write, like I’m doing now, or I find something else to occupy my mind so that I am not absorbed in what is disturbing me and not “inside my own head.”

When I was 27, I was determined and optimistic. Honestly, I’m still determined and optimistic. When I am faced with a major decision, I don’t ruminate about it. I gather all the available facts, but then I take a leap of faith. It’s like when you must jump over a hole and aren’t certain you will make it. You just hope and proceed. When you’ve reached the other side, of course you can be grateful. I believe that I will make it because I believe in fate and destiny. I draw my courage from that.

A co-worker was always fearful. He attended a course where he was told that when you are afraid, you must say to yourself, “What is the worst thing that will happen?” Then they assured him that if the answer isn’t “death” then you have nothing to fear. From then on he was fearless – not stupid or negligent, but always moving purposely forward without any regrets.

I died over 35 years ago of a major heart attack and had to be resuscitated. I live every day as if it were my last. I don’t worry about it, but I wake every morning with plans to do something purposeful, like continue to write my next novel. I’m a realist. I’m hopeful for the best but always prepared for the worst.

I assure you that positive thoughts outweigh negative ones by a mile. I’m willing to take some risks now and am not afraid. I learned from entrepreneurs that we are all destined to fail at times, but we gain experience from that and then achieve success.

I married at 19. Everyone said I was crazy. They said my marriage wouldn’t work out. I can tell you that love is grand, but love does not pay the rent. Sacrifices had to be made, but while I’m not foolish I am determined. So, those people who said my marriage would not last have since divorced and I’ve been married over 52 years. Even when I was younger, I had faith and belief. I learned and knew about destiny, and it seemed that my destiny included my marriage. Even my mom agreed, so she signed for me to get married.

I urge you to consider using all your talents purposely, thus avoiding upset or inaction. I suggest that you become so busy that you don’t have time to encourage negative thoughts. I assure you that we all have talents and abilities far beyond those that are recognized by others, so we must be inspired by our own self-esteem and self-worth. We can’t ever doubt the road that we follow, because as Robert Frost has told us, it truly doesn’t matter because we’ll get where we want to go no matter which road we choose. In a way, I envy you, because I’m betting that you have so much time to do everything you want to do. I encourage that.

I wish you a long life filled with achievement and reward, but most of all I wish you love.

Article #: 488176

Category: Other

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