In a previous post, I mentioned the five Reiki principles. I followed that up with the first Reiki principle: Just for today, I will not anger. Today I’d like to continue that discussion and talk about the second Reiki principle:
Just for today, I will not worry.
I can do anything for one day
All the Reiki principles begin with “Just for today.” This is an incredibly powerful way to begin as it forces us into the Now. It keeps our focus on the present. As I mentioned before, I can do anything for a single day. It’s an easy and short segment of time in which to practice anything. If we feel a benefit then we are free to do it for another day. The fantastic part is that these days can stretch on an on, and soon enough a good habit has formed.
I’ve discussed worry before, here and here. I feel that it is incredibly important to cast aside this useless emotion. I would say that 99% of all worry is useless, and I’m on the fence about the remaining 1%. Worry deals exclusively with future events. We worry about what the future will hold or how a present event will affect the future. Even when we worry about an event in the past, it’s actually worrying about how that past event will affect our future.
Live in the Now
After all, if an event has already passed, then you know the outcome. The outcome, whether good or bad, is settled. There is no reason to worry about an outcome when we already know how it works out. From this, I like to project into the future. I take a collective look at all the outcomes of all past events. Have any events, large or small, greatly altered my ability to be happy or to have a good life. From this collection of events I can make a generalization about the future and say, in general everything will be fine, and probably good or even great.
My life has been fairly normal. I grew up in a normal American family, I went to school, I went to work, I got married, and I had a child. I’ve had negative events along the way, but nothing that has altered this course through life. Everything that has happened in my life generally trended in a positive direction. In fact, most major events ended up working out for the better. My lay off last year is a good example.
Given that all of my past experience has worked out (usually for the better, and always in a way that didn’t alter the course of my life in a negative direction) what use is there to worry? Based on past events, the odds are in my favor. It’s extremely likely that any single event will be insignificant in the big picture, and typically will work itself out for the better.
Look at the big picture
I find with worry it helps to look at the big picture. Does a bad grade in a single class affect my chance at a job later in life? (I’ve never had an employer ask to see my report card.) Does a misinterpreted conversation affect a lifelong friendship? (If it does, you’re better off without that friendship.)
I also like to think of the worst case scenario. What’s the worst thing that could happen in this life? To me, it would be death, as that ends the wonderful experiences I get to partake in while experiencing this world. So, does my big project at work end in death? Likely (hopefully) not. And, what if you are heading toward death due to age, disease, or risky occupation? Then ask yourself, am I dying today? With this Reiki principle, we are just focusing on today. So if you are alive and breathing today, then be happy for that, and leave the worrying for another day. Do the same thing tomorrow and the day after and the day after that, and eventually that day of worry will never come.
The odds are good
I encourage you to take a couple of minutes to contemplate worry. Has there ever been a time when worry has aided you? (Don’t confuse worry with planning while thinking about that.) How many times have your worries become unfounded? How many times have things worked out for the better, regardless of the worrying?
The odds are in your favor. Odds are you’ll move through this life on the exact path you are meant to take. Odds are everything will work out for the better in the long run. If the odds are in our favor, then we have no reason to worry. Just for today, I’ll be happy and thankful for the experience. Just for today, I will learn from my failures and relish my successes. Just for today, I will not worry.