Omkari Williams

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Worry About Yourself


There is a video that has gone viral on the net that I think is hilarious. It is of a two year old trying to put the buckles of her carseat into their slots. Her father asks if she needs help and she replies "worry about yourself." It's only a one minute video but encapsulated in it is much for us taller people to learn. "Worry about yourself" that is the message that we get on flights when we are told to put our oxygen masks on first in case of trouble, and then assist others.

If you follow the advice to "Worry about yourself"  you will tend your own metaphorical garden before messing in someone else's life. Let's face it, it can be a lot more fun to worry about someone else than to deal with whatever is going on for us. How much better to help a friend clean out their garage than get to the creative project that has been thwarting us for the past week. Why not hound our teenager about the state of her room rather than confront the state of our job, relationship, or finances.

Often the reason that we don't worry about ourself is that it feels so overwhelming to deal with whatever the challenge is that we are avoiding. The obstacle has been thwarting us so intensely, or for so long, that what might have once been a relatively small issue has now taken on mythic proportions. We feel that we have to solve the entire problem now, and we know we can't so we turn our creative energy to someone or something we feel we can fix. There is a way around this; instead of looking at the whole of our obstacle, if we put our attention on one smallstepthat we could take (and took it), we would begin to make progress.

If we decided that we could worry about ourself, in the same pragmatic way that the airlines instruct us to, we might find enormous relief in beginning to address the thing that has been holding us prisoner. Putting our attention on the thing that actually does matter to us in small, manageable steps takes off the pressure we feel when trying to tackle too much.  Instead we slowly build the confidence that moves us through the inevitable challenges that life so blithely tosses our way.

If we decided to worry about ourself we could start, piece by piece, to dismantle the various obstacles of life or, at least, begin to come to some form of detente with them. When we worry about ourself we take our power back, we move into the realm of something we can control, namely ourself, and out of the realm of "good luck with that!"

So, if you've been avoiding a challenge in your life by putting your attention elsewhere, take the words of a two year old to heart and "worry about yourself."

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