To fret: verb
1. be constantly or visibly anxious
2. gradually wear away (something) by rubbing or gnawing
Interesting points one and two – mainly because point one generally leads to point two! So the question is, so many of us do this constantly in our lives, whether it be about work, relationships, personal development, goals, whatever… does it actually help? Or indeed does it in fact hinder?
Personally now with that mind-blowing wonder of hindsight, I can look back over the past twenty odd years, if not more of my life and I have to question whether the constant fretting that I seemed incapable of stopping served any purpose whatsoever. Did it bring me to where I am today? Or would I have simply got here anyway? …begging the whole sliding doors, fate, and destiny argument.
The fact is that in my youth and right up to my thirties (even today in my 40’s to a degree on different subjects) I seem incapable of letting go entirely. It seems that the fretting, the constant anxiety, which I’ll admit is incredibly draining and frankly can ‘wear you away’ (see definition 2.) seems almost necessary for fear of the alternative; the unknown, being worse. I mean, without that continual thought and focus on the end goal wouldn’t life just spiral out of control? Wouldn’t we just drift down the river with no idea where we were going? Or worse, would we be sucked into some horrifyingly mucky sinking mud and never come out? Precisely … these fears seem worse. Apparently, in many of our minds, the lack of fret equals the lack of control equals potential disaster.
Shame! I believe despite still potentially enjoying ourselves, just as the definitions illustrate, this insistent worry of how we get to what we ‘need’ brings us down – and most importantly means we are often missing crucial present moments. It goes back to the saying: yesterday is history – tomorrow is a mystery – today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. It’s important to be present in the moment, to live the day, absorb it and notice what’s going on around us. Everything happens for a reason I believe and everything serves its’ purpose, we are meant to be evaluating these things even if in our subconscious to eventually take us where we ‘need’ to be.
Would I be where I am today had I not obsessed and fretted so much about it? I believe so! Who knows for sure – but from what I see, how I feel and all that I’ve observed – yes.
I remember an old lady once told me when I confided in her, asking her about love and questioning whether I would find it, she said ‘you must slow down… you race so far ahead with your mind and vision you miss what’s under your nose, you wont see the signs.’ She was right…, as was my Grandmother, who no matter what heartache I may have been going through or however confused I may have been, assured me destiny would take care of it all and that all would work out as it was meant to. And so I believe it did.
This blog was also published on The Huffington Post Fretting – is it really worth it?
A more in-depth, fun, entertaining explanation to this can be captured through my book Full Circle . A story of life, love and destiny… sharing similar thoughts, feelings, events and the outcomes that we least expect.