We can’t avoid the reality that life is uncertain. Our bodies feel it. They communicate this to us, although whether we listen is another story.
I love this description from meditation teacher Tara Brach of what happens when we face uncertainty:
We have an inner controller that does not like insecurity, uncertainty. So in reaction, when we’re stressed, our inner controller becomes what I’ve often called an over-controller.
And I know you know what I’m talking about.
I love how she keeps it real. Yes, of course I know what she is talking about. So do you, I’m sure.
As Tara shared, when our over-controller takes over, our mind gets fixated and narrowed. We might become obsessive, trying to “figure things out” or “fix things.” Often we are also blaming others or trying to control others. We are often mentally in the state of fearful anticipation.
This isn’t just happening in the mind, of course. What in the mind is reflected in the body. Sometimes the body even leads the process.
Muscles tighten. The belly tightens, which affects digestion. The throat may tighten. The heart gets tight, which prevents us from giving and receiving love. The hip and shoulders tighten, closing around the heart. Shoulder round forward to protect us. Tightness in the body creates fatigue, leaving us exhausted.
Tara pointed out that the Anglo Saxon roots of the word Worry means to strangle.
That made me pause.
Is it any wonder we feel like we can’t breathe when we are in this state?
“You’ll worry yourself sick” suddenly takes on new meaning.
Breath is life.
We can release our chokehold by letting go.