Will Bad Things Happen to Me? FAQ Friday the 13th Edition

Friday 13 meme

When I was a kid, I decided that Friday the 13th was a lucky, fun, special day. I figured if we thought black cats were scary but they were considered lucky in Japan and other parts of the world, I thought I could just make my own kind of luck.  All the talk of  “don’t walk under a ladder” and “uh oh, better watch out, it’s Friday the 13th!”  just made me anxious instead of safer.       Two friends of mine did the same thing growing up and now we send each other Friday the 13th greetings.

Fear, bad luck … these are all manifestations of our human need to figure things out. Our communal and mutual worrying speaks of a fear we all universally have: Will bad things happen to me? And how can I prevent this?   Sometimes our society is more amped up about this than others. If you’re old enough to remember all the water-hording and bank withdrawals that happened before Y2k (when planes were supposed to fall out of the sky and society collapse into chaos) you know what I’m talking about.  (in case you weren’t there… nothing happened!)

In this crazy March Madness energy I’ve had more anxious questions and emails that usual about worry and more worry.  On forums I’ve read astrologers talking about the “accursed degree 29th Pisces” (others say it’s really positive!)  coming in the eclipse  and read people fretting over earthquakes.   I’ve seen several  people posting about how Stephen Hawking warned that instability in a Higgs boson could cause the END OF THE UNIVERSE, and therefore it’s time to freak out if Cern’s large hadron collider gets fired up on schedule towards the end of March.

Deep breath, everyone. The Universe is still going to be here for a long long time (Stephen Hawking actually said that a particle accelerator the size of the Earth would be needed to create such an event – something that will probably be too expensive for anyone to ever make).   Besides that, let’s get real … what is all this worry actually doing to us?   What exactly are we trying to control when we fear dramatic events and disasters?      Now you might be chuckling to yourself that anyone would fear the actual end of the known universe,  but I can guarantee that you worry about “Will bad things happen to me?” at least sometimes. It’s only human.   Whether you’re scared that your chicken salad went bad, that a loved one will get sick, or your boyfriend could leave, or that you’ll lose your job or be alone forever – it’s all normal.

Yes, sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes it feels good to hear that when the world tells us it’s so NOT OK.   Plate tectonics create earthquakes,  and low atmospheric pressure and water vapour can whip into a hurricane that decimates a city.  With the power of choice or illness, people do sketchy, sudden and crazy things.  Unfair things happen, sad things.  Anyone who has been on this planet long enough knows that life does not always seem  fair or fun based on our personal perspectives and needs. We won’t get into the philosophical debates of  things happening “for a reason” or the balance of light and dark and how chaos and destruction,as in nature,  is part of life’s cycle… we’re just speaking of the reality that events we perceive of as bad things DO happen in every life.

We have two choices about how to handle this fact: do the best we can, try  to create our own luck wherever possible, take responsibility for our mission to take care of our world and each other… or we run around like Chicken Little screaming “The sky is falling!” and trying to get one up on the disasters that could happen. Constantly worrying, “what if” about everything in our lives big and small, always trying to peek around corners doesn’t help us deal with things and it doesn’t help us be where we need to be.

Obviously, worry is designed to be beneficial and to help us. It helps us plan for things and be realistic in assessing our needs and future needs. This human gift helps us survive and create.  But unfettered worry is neither helpful nor creative. At some point we have to accept and let go of the fact that we CANNOT (and won’t!) be able to see everything or control everything…. and that that’s OK and all part of the game too!

The biggest mistake people make about intuition is that somehow our intuition is there to always save us from surprise.  A psychic, or our gut instincts, or tarot cards can keep us safe from disaster.   Nope!  Intuition doesn’t tell you exactly what will HAPPEN, that’s up to you– it gives you insight about your present role. Whether you believe this is a soul journey and its all part of a learning adventure your Higher Self/Spirit knows,  or if you believe that stuff just happens –   life will throw curveballs out sometimes.  Would knowing or control even benefit us anyway?

Even if you believe in the concept of Spirit Guides, those Guardian Angels won’t remove the lesson for you.  Have you heard the saying, “God only knows?”  Face it, some truly awesome, wonderful and growth-inducing things in life come wearing a disguise of pain  and  we would NOT want to go through them, or we’d try to arm ourselves against change  if we knew what we were getting into with the limits of our current intellect.  A  friend of mine said, “If I’d had known how hard it is to be a mom, I might not have done it – but I wouldn’t have known how wonderful it is to be a mom -it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

So stop. Even if you COULD know everything, you wouldn’t want to.  In my experience it’s better to use the brain power spent excessive worrying for other things.   The best way to thrive and survive is not  to endlessly anticipate … but to BE HERE NOW creating the path that carries you into a safe and successful future.  Use your intuition to help you deal with the fact that nobody can tell you what will HAPPEN, that’s up to you!  Use it to help you see possibilities and influences right here and now.  Fears will come up sometimes and seem really “real” but that doesn’t mean they are.  Like the y2k scare,  most of the time things aren’t as bad as our brains say they are.

Today, pet the nearest black cat,  watch some Jason Voorhees movies, get comfy knowing that we’re all in the unknown and  we don’t know whether the next day is a black hole supernova day or a special landslide of cake, cookies and cash… but that we CAN handle whatever comes our way.   Make the most of today – now is the only moment we ever really truly have.  Make it special and lucky Smile

If I only had a…

Most of us think that we’d only be happy if we had a…  (nose job, million dollars, Roberto Cavalli shoes, a boyfriend’s love,  the right job…)

In reality, our happiness doesn’t depend on things and people.  Check out this great article a friend of mine wrote on her blog about  our occupation with “stuff” and “goals” and happiness . (While you’re there check out some other articles!).

We’d all do a lot better if we disconnected the “stuff” we want from the happiness that we can feel from within.     If you have a few minutes extra,  check out this interesting video by social psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Dan Gilbert.  He talks about the source of our feelings of happiness and relative value:

Listen to your “GUTS”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Stephen Colbert was right.   Listen to your GUTS.

“That’s where truth comes from — the gut. Facts come from the brain — and some people think that makes facts better. But did you know you have more nerve endings in your stomach than in your brain? You can look it up….Anyone can tell the news to you. I’m going to feel the news at you.” – Stephen Colbert

There is some compelling evidence that there is something to the relationship between “guts” and “feelings”  and that our enteric nervous system may be more closely linked to emotion that previously thought.   An article on Cognitive Daily, cites research done on Crohn’s Disease sufferers who have an increased nerve response from their gastroentestinal system and brain and how this related to their perception of movie clips in both active and silent phases of the disease. In the active phase of the disease, emotional responses were reported at higher levels than in the “silent” phase of the disease.

One of the primal signal locations for our sense of intuition is often located right in  the stomach.  “I have a gut feeling this is a bad idea.”  for example. This may be yeet another sign that the brain is sometimes aware of information that we aren’t consciously aware of in the moment.   Live Science cites a study done on participants asked to memorise pictures in periods of conscious fixation and also when they were thoroughly distracted.  The mind can retrieve data and spring it on us, seemingly bypassing conscious thought.

When you DO have a “gut feeling”  it pays to listen to your insticts.  That little nagging sense that tells you, “Don’t go that way!”  — harken to it.  The times in this life I’ve gotten myself in trouble it’s always been because I chose to ingore a nagging sense in my gut.   This applies to love, to business, to small, seemingly insignficant choices.

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers.