Worry. It’s such a small word for such a big emotion. We worry about so many things all day long – from little things like what am I going to make for dinner to giant things like how am I going to afford to pay the rent and put food on the table this week. Many spiritual texts will tell you not to worry because other forces are in control. I have yet to meet any person who has heard that advice and truly taken it. I mean like for real taken it. They may know God or whoever is ultimately in control but deep down the thoughts and self talk still happens. So, what all is there to worry about and how does one cope?
This past weeks’ events in the Middle East has many worried. World War III has been bandied about quite a bit. Politics in our nation has many worried. Some would say the environment/climate change is a major concern. Others would tell you that securing our borders and providing more jobs with a living wage should be a main concern. While still others would say affordable housing and healthcare should have us all lying awake at night. Economists are warning about a financial correction. These scenarios alone are enough to give anyone an ulcer. But most of us are worried about the stuff a little closer to home. We’re worried about things like paying the bills, getting to work on time and how we are going to be in three places at once any given day. And, while we are ticking off all the things we should be worried about let’s think about shoulds be doings like self care, staying in shape, eating right, keeping in touch with friends and relatives, making time to keep our romantic relationships alive and not to mention parenting a child or taking care of an aging relative. Have you started hyperventilating into a bag yet? Has panic set in while you count up all the stuff you think you should be worried about?
I ask all this because I had an ah-ha moment the other day. We cannot worry about everything. We physically just can’t. There is not enough time, brainpower or energy in our bodies to worry about everything that we “should be worried about” all the time. One must pick and choose what is important in life at that moment and focus or worry about that. It seems like a foregone conclusion that one can’t worry about everything yet most days, myself included, we are inundated with real worries and contrive worries and life feels like one endless worry. I love how all the gurus and self-helpers are out there telling us we need to read their book or buy their program to help us manage all the worry. As if they have a lock on a damn thing. Maybe that’s what all those spiritual texts mean when they talk about letting go and letting the higher power take care of things. Maybe it’s just the realization that we cannot think about another thing at this moment no matter how critical someone else thinks it is. I have to admit I don’t know where all this is coming from – maybe it’s middle age talking or maybe it truly is an ah-ha moment but I cannot waste any more brain power on every little thing. And, I refuse to feel guilty for not wringing my hands over what someone else thinks I should worry about. So what that I drank a diet coke (poison) and I threw the can in the trash instead of recycling it (environmental monster) all while eating a candy bar (carbs) and ignoring the latest boneheaded thing a politician said. I cannot be concerned. I will do better tomorrow or I won’t but I can’t be worried about it. Sure, I’m still going to worry about something things. I have a few biggies floating around in my brain right now but all I can do is work toward a good solution to those issues I’m worried about and try my best. In the end, isn’t that all any of us can do? Try your best.
NOTE: My usual posting day is Wednesday. I’m early this week as this week is really chaotic.
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