By Neal Lemery

I often carry a lot of extra weight, excess baggage that holds me down, emotional “stuff” that prevents me from flying, from achieving my dreams and my full potential in life.

“If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.” — Amit Ray

Stewing and fretting, that’s what my aunt called it, when we hold on tight to a past wrong or a troubling problem that defies a ready solution. Intellectually, I know that my often obsessive talent at worrying something to death doesn’t offer a solution, or make the problem a lesser burden. Instead, it is as if I hold a magnifying glass over the problem. It only grows in my mind. All that worry can take me over, making my life just a Gordian knot of worry. I end up just spinning my wheels.

My pride gets in the way, and I am afraid to let it go. If I no longer claim ownership or power over the issue, then I free myself to do other things in life, and to move on, free of the burden of this worry. That work is easier to talk about than the actual release I can give myself, but my ego gets in the way. I’d have to give up my desire to be in control, to be the powerful one in “solving” the problem.

I often need to remind myself that almost any problem isn’t worth the worry, or my time and energy I can spend on “working the problem”. My rule should be that if the issue matters five years from now, then I can keep worrying. But, if it really doesn’t have that long of a lifespan in my life, it really isn’t worth my time or energy. I have other things to do, other problems to wrestle with.

What others might say about me and my problem-solving abilities, or inabilities, really isn’t my concern. After all, I am the one in charge of me and how I think about life, where I am going, and what I want to be doing.

It is an act of resilience.

I do this work for me. It is a release of my own demons, my own obsessions. It is being the captain of my own ship. It is good self care.

Neal Lemery – community volunteer, author and blogger neallemery.com
Books: NEW book – Building Community: Rural Voices for Hope and Change; Finding My Muse on Main Street, Homegrown Tomatoes, and Mentoring Boys to Men