Daily Step – “Catastrophizing”



This word was the subject of two random podcast episodes I listened to last week. Both hosts were talking about their habit of “catastrophizing” situations. Basically, they start by making an assumption or jumping to a small conclusion about a situation and then they find themselves carrying that all the way to a big disastrous outcome – an outcome that most often never happened at all.

I found myself laughing the second time I heard this word sarcastically telling myself “Well you never do that now do you?”

Oh but I do sometimes. I think a lot of us do. And especially in this crazy time, there are so many disastrous outcomes to choose from that makes “catastrophizing” all the more easy to do. 

So what do we do about it?

Mornings for me are my time to go slow, but today I let my brain move too fast enter too early into all the “what if’s”. 

So my prayer this morning to recenter me (and you if you need it) are the words of John O’Donohue:

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes. 
Try, as best you can, 
not to let 
The wire brush of doubt 
Scrape from your heart 
All sense of yourself 
And your hesitant light. 
If you remain generous, 
Time will come good; 
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise, 
Where the air will be kind 
And blushed with beginning.”

Don’t let the doubts creep in and run your mind all the way to the absolute worst outcomes. And I’ll work on doing the same. Instead, let us go slow into this day with hope.

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