My yoga teacher (thanks Meg) said this phrase to me after I imagined the worst case scenario (which never did happen).
It’s now my mantra for everything:
My son driving home from college in the rain…don’t borrow trouble.
My book has gotten rejections and one interest (still waiting back)…don’t borrow trouble.
I’m getting on a plane soon and I’m not a great flyer…don’t borrow trouble.
Did I leave the oven on…don’t borrow trouble.
You get the point. It’s a quick statement to reset your brain, to clear it out of thoughts based in fear about things that may never happen. We all do it, this habit of borrowing trouble, as if anticipating it can make it somehow lessen or go away. It’s a way to disengage from our present moment, a way to keep the illusion of control about the future. It’s a way to stay stuck, with the pay-off being “see, I was right.”
We have no control…the only thing we can control is our reaction. The only way to control our reaction is to stay present: what do I see, what do I hear, what do I feel, deep breath.
I wrote, “Inside the River,” because I had a story to tell. Now I want that story to be heard. I am trying to find an agent who believes in the magic of Magical Realism. It’s a small niche in the United States…don’t borrow trouble!