Since reading several books by Eckhart Tolle and Gary Zukav I have tried to take what they have said to heart. I have changed my life, more specifically my outlook on life and what is important to me. I used to be a big worrier. I worried not only about the past, present and future of my own life but worried about everyone else's life as well. If they did not think they had a problem well then I'm sure I could find something. I wouldn't disclose it but instead would carry it around with me.
On top of the worry rested perfectionism. An ulcer was the physical result of the self-created stress. Daily I was reminded of the physicality of it all not only because my stomach hurt but I was always so tired. At the time I didn't see those things as being related. I hated living that way but didn't recognize I could do something about it. I could never eat a normal diet. Quite frankly I didn't know what to eat so I didn't eat much. Now I certainly don't have that problem and perhaps have overshot the mark. Back then I was young and I made the choice to rest the world on my shoulders and it was literally eating me up inside.
Since that period of time I have slowly graduated to taking life a little less seriously. Even in situations that could be, and usually are, perceived as tumultuous, I have had moments of not thinking about whatever it is. I got pretty good at releasing the obsessive thought and replacing it with focusing on the present, directing my attention on whatever I was engaged in at the time. In my adult years I have had a lot of practice. Recently my pattern of thought started shifting back.
Yesterday afternoon I missed a phone call and the person had to leave a message. The message was simply," This is Gloria at Northside. I need for you to give me a call back." Northside is a hospital that I went to last week for my annual mammogram. The drill is after several days they call you back with the results. Normally if they do not reach a patient they leave this message "Your mammogram came back normal. See you in a year." The message she left for me just told me to call back. That was a little unnerving. Two years ago I had a recalled mammogram, which is a very technical way of saying they needed a better picture. That mammogram came back normal.
Before my mind went to the "C" word I decided to take a couple of breaths. Instead I focused on my drive home. I looked ahead at the road, the trees, the sky, and then my thoughts drifted down to my body. How did my body feel against the seat? How does the steering wheel feel in my hands? Does the seatbelt seem too constricting across my chest? My chest. Will everything be okay? What will they find? At that moment I realized my foot felt a little light on the accelerator. I looked down at the speedometer and sure enough I wasn't even traveling the speed limit. It even took me a minute to realize where I was on the drive home. Scary! I made myself refocus.
I know this will probably not end up being breast cancer but in the event that it does I have made my mind up that I cannot waste my energy on that kind of negative brain activity. I'm going to do my best to push the toxic thoughts away and fill up that space with the present. I'll deal with things as they come or at least I'll try.