How concern gets in the way of your freedom

concern 2 acredConcern is not a caring thing.

There, I said it.

Concern so often masquerades as care. It’s a form of civilized worry, dressed up to look good and be acceptable. “I’m concerned about how you are taking care of yourself.” (Translated: I want you to treat yourself in some way other than you are, because you aren’t doing things the way that I think is right.) “I’m concerned about what’s happening in the world.” (Translated: I don’t like the events that are taking place and somebody should do something about this!)

When you invest in a specific outcome, that outcome becomes your focus of concern.

Judgment gets in the way

Judgment often disguises itself as concern.

It works like this. You have an expectation or agenda that something should be different. You want something to be done your way. The situation is not meeting your expectations of life.

Here’s the thing about agendas and expectations that doesn’t work.

Everyone is responsible for their own growth. Your idea of what is needed for someone’s own good is an infringement that thwarts everyone’s freedom—yours and theirs. First, you deny them the freedom of self-discovery.

Then, realize that your own freedom depends upon your moment-to-moment awareness.  When you feel concern, you deny yourself freedom to focus. You block the dynamic movement on your own path.

Concern, Consequence and Possibility

Why is this important? Because there are consequences for your body. Judgment, concern and manipulation all constrict you, limiting your ability to listen and to respond. Just imagine how many of your thoughts create tightness in your body!

What if you dropped your expectations and concerns?

There is so much waiting for you on the other side. Your thoughts and pictures are the vehicles for interaction with the world. Being present allows you to be a witness to life’s situations while still maintaining your focus. With your thoughts free of concern, your clarity of awareness facilitates the dialogue between the outer environment and your inner guidance.

Learn to decode the information that brings your next step.  Spend some quiet time in inner inquiry, asking questions geared towards discovery. You come to know what action to take and the timing that is needed.

Your responsibility is to keep your inner compass pointed to true north. This is where your freedom lies.

Reflection Time

sunrise-77677_640Take a breath. Release it. Take another. Devote some dedicated time of concentration/meditation. It doesn’t need to be hours of quiet, perhaps only 15 minutes. Then allow the question to simmer within you. Let responses bubble up into your awareness. Notice new ways of thinking, of images or ideas that arise spontaneously. Pay attention to your dreams. Let it happen. Be aware. See where it leads you next. Let yourself savor this process of receiving from yourself. Don’t judge whatever comes up, just receive it. Make notes.

I invite you to share something from this process. Sharing is an important way to anchor an insight in your body. It leads you to deeper insight. It stimulates action.

Scroll down and add your comments. We’d love to hear from you!

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16 Responses

  1. You’re so right. Our concern for others is often based on the way we “think” things should be. I had a friend who lost her husband this week, and she confided that she needed to be around joyful people who did not expect her to be grieving. Throughout it all, she had a happy heart, she was at peace with it all, but nobody thought she should be. Odd, isn’t it?

    Judgement is the opposite of caring. Loving is about acceptance and no strings attached. I think we should all throw out our expectations of each other, and learn to speak from the heart. My only expectations is of me.. and that is to simply be.. and to love myself and others every step of the way.

    1. Your friend is a wonderful example, Shelley. Loving allows for the biggest picture to be held for someone, without expecting them to be a particular way.

  2. Wow, this sure does hit home. YES, judgment is often disguised as concern, isn’t it!? We are only in control of our lives and when we try to manipulate others it does constrict us and our happiness. Thank you for this great post!

  3. I love saying “Never Should on Anybody” – we all expect so much from ourselves and each other and those expectations can cause feelings of disappointment if we don’t keep things in perspective. A loving and kind heart goes all the way and never says ‘should’ to anyone. Thank you Laurie for teaching freedom from all that is less than!:-)

  4. Ouff… you hit the nail on the head so to speak with this one.

    You just made me realize why the concern of my family made me feel so bad. I know it comes across as a kind gesture on their part but it is laced with judgement and what I should be doing.

  5. Love this piece Laurie. So much truth in such a small space. When I drop my expectations of anyone or anything, I don’t set myself up for disappointment. This allows me to stay more centered peaceful and to interact from the space of love. Thank you for sharing yourself. Hugs and blessings

    1. You are welcome, Debra. Expectations, judgments and concerns are on the outside of the space of love. Love hold the “big picture” for someone else. Thanks for your hugs and blessings…and I send them back to you!

  6. Greetings,
    Because people were concerned, the Nazis and Hitler were stopped in Europe, and slavery was abolished in many parts of the world. Because people are concerned, they make self sacrifices and take good care of their children. Is apathy better than concern? We need to make good judgements and decisions in our life. Have a good day.

    1. Ken–Thanks for taking time to add your voice here. Apathy is not necessarily the other side of concern. Concern is so often self-serving: our idea of what is right for someone else. I would suggest that concern did not stop Hitler. Action did.

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