Note: I suffer from anxiety issues. Few loved ones also have the tendency to worry TOO MUCH (sometimes in an abnormal way) about all sorts of things, so I guess I do understand what the state feels like. Please note that I am not criticizing those who suffer from disorders or those who can’t help but worry. This post is not against worry/anxiety. If you are worried about your daughter who has to travel at night, then your worry is completely legitimate. If you are worried about your husband who is in the army, your worry is legitimate. If you were sexually abused then of course, you will be afraid of the world. This is about situations which are less serious. I am talking about excessive worry which leads to people suffocating their loved ones. Of course, *I* am no one to decide what is serious and what is not, where you should feel anxious and where you should not. I am only sharing what I found out about *my* anxiety and *my* observations about people around me. It’s all subjective.
Anxious people are always pitied. We often feel bad for them. This might sound ridiculous but I pitied myself for being so anxious all the time and I felt the same when I saw anybody who is anxious. Anxiety sucks out all the fun out of life. But it’s only while writing my last blog post (it’s totally related to this post, so do check it out) that I realized that over-anxious people can be egoistic. This was a huge blow to my ego though.
So here’s my thought process as an anxious person:
“I am afraid of this big bad world. People might manipulate and take advantage of me.”
“People will laugh at me. I will mess things up.”
Everybody has such thoughts but when these thoughts totally take control of your life, you develop anxiety issues of the serious kind. When I saw some people who were stopping their kids from doing something because of their anxiety, I felt bad for the parents. But here’s the thing: If a parent is so worried about his 25 year old son that he stops him from making his own decisions because of concern and worry, then there is a lot of ego involved. When you say that you will chose a bride for your grown up son for “his” good because the world is a mean place and people might cheat him and all that then what you are actually saying is:
1. My decisions are always correct.
2. My son cannot make good decisions.
3. The only people who cares about my son is *me*…the girl that he loves cannot love him more…
4. The whole world is full of mean people and I am the only nice guy!
Can you see the arrogance? Your fear is coming from having a low opinion about others. I must admit that I am pretty much like the person above. I mean, there was a time when I was afraid of the “mean world” (I still am) where people are out there to hurt me. But here’s something really fascinating about this mindset: I am actually saying that only others can be mean to me and I cannot be mean to them at all! In other words, I am good, others are bad. My excessive fear about the “big bad world” was partly coming from my assumption that I don’t have anything “dark” inside me that could possibly harm or hurt others and THAT is an egoistic assumption. The reality is that I have also hurt people, I can be also the oppressor. We all oppress each other and we don’t even know it.
If you are always in fear, maybe you should ask yourself a question: Why do you have such a low opinion about your fellow human beings? I understand that you are worried about your son but isn’t it insulting to think that he can never make a good decision? How can you be sure that you will always choose well?