As the old proverb so powerfully points out, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” The challenging bit about that is we choose our thoughts. Our thoughts don’t just happen. We choose our thoughts based on the experience we want to have.
By experience, I’m not referring to what other people do or say – or anything else that happens in the world, or even in our body. Rather it is the meaning we give what is going on.
While we aren’t responsible for the actions of others, we are completely accountable to the meaning we give it.
So when we’re worried, it’s because we’ve chosen worry. We chosen to give a stressful, anxious meaning to something going on in our world.
And thus we’ve been taken over by worry – or as John Locke so poignantly described it, worry has now mastered us.
When we find ourselves in such a state, the sooner we can remember that we give everything all the meaning it has for us – the quicker we can make a different choice.