Musing

Worry

photo of woman covering her face

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.
Photo Credit:  Free from the internet – Pexels.com

 

 

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One thought on “Worry

  1. My father is the only person I have ever met who truly lives without worry. I think his ability to “let go” comes from being a combat veteran. He spent a year in an environment where every little thing was spectacularly rigged against him, where if you stopped to worry about your survival you would surely die. He got to be the person I always wanted to talk to whenever I was in trouble of some kind. He’d always say, what’s the worst that could happen? You won’t pass the test. You’ll get fired. And then you will wake up the next day and find something else to do with yourself and life will go on. The next phase might even be a whole lot better, but you don’t know it because you are too busy clinging to this one.

    I do think a lot of dealing with stress is being able to put things in perspective that way. My husband and I have gotten into the discipline (particularly as entrepreneurs) of not getting worked up at lost or less-than-stellar opportunities. One door closes, another opens. It sucks in media res, but there’s no reason to assume it’s the end of the world.

    I also think it’s worth remembering that the forces in society that are trying to get you worked up about [insert outrage du jour] are doing it because it is useful to them, not because they genuinely believe Armageddon is around the corner. People who claim the world is going to end in 12 years because of climate change want you to get on the side of spending *trillions* of dollars on government contracts that they can bid out to their political connections. People who want you to believe WW3 is around the corner (despite literally half a century of the ayatollah walking up to the edge and then backing down, there’s a reason the coward loves proxy wars) want you vote in a certain way. In the next breath, they are calling terrorists moderates because these words are meaningless to them. Etc. etc. They need to keep people constantly worked up because people who aren’t worked up about something rarely participate in politics (by voting or donating or reading clickbait). The tendency to worry is pretty much an essential trait of the useful idiot. Contemplative people aren’t walking around freaking about every freaking thing on demand.

    Liked by 1 person

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