Erma Bombeck profoundly said, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”
Will we, as human, choose to live our lives consumed by worry or will we allow ourselves to enjoy a relaxed state of mind from the acceptance that worry serves no purpose? Stewing in worry is a physical and emotional energy-drainer and a waste of negative energy. It takes a mind-over-matter state of being to be able to refuse to allow “life worries” to have that kind of control over us.
Worry is a self-imposed practice, but so commonplace. Worry is a mechanical habit as our emotions react to “life stuff.” It is an unnecessary congestion of our psyches. There are many catalysts that can spark the cycle of concern.
I will have to admit that I have perfected the “worry wart” role throughout the years. I am, however, making improvements in overcoming it. I believe (and I’m sure I’m not alone) that it does seem to go hand and hand with the role of being a mom. Thank goodness for this high-tech world with the great gift of text messaging and its instant gratification for locating our off-spring in a split-second. It has enabled me to quiet the worries somewhat. Whew!
My mother is a fine example of someone who does not allow worry to be a deterrent from enjoying life. She is a 14 year breast cancer survivor. Shortly after her mastectomy, I asked her, “Are you worried that the cancer might spread?” Her incredible response was, “Well — now would that do me any good?” What an amazing attitude by which we can learn.
When my son was a 5-year old, he worried about expiration dates on food and drinks. He made himself the official inspector of the foods in our refrigerator in an effort to make certain that all the ham, milk, cheese, blah, blah, blah were not one second past the day of cessation. He had a fear of getting sick from germs from the mold that, he thought, could grow one mere second after the expiration date and other such “yuckyness.” As a result of this concern, when he went to visit his friends at their homes, he could not trust that all the food met up to his standards. Therefore, to be on the safe side, he never ate anything at other people’s homes.
One day, he was playing with a friend whose mother had been trying unsuccessfully to get him to eat and drink. He had replied, “no” to every offer.
At the end of the day, in total exasperation, he said, “No, thank you. I only eat trout.” What an ingenious answer! He surmised that the odds of her having trout on hand were remote. The update on him is that he is now a junior at NC State and involved in their ROTC program. He even leaps out of airplanes! Yikes! Apparently, he knows how to leave his worries behind.
Before writing this column, I asked him if it was alright for me to right about his expiration date story. I questioned him about why he worried about expiration dates and why it troubled him as a child. With his all grown up deep voice, he answered, “Well — we should always be concerned about expiration dates.” Enough said. Some things never change.
In conclusion, give yourself the healthy gift of letting your worries go free. Don’t let it take up an ounce of your energy. You owe it to yourself to be able to have a relaxed mind, body and spirit.
Perhaps, we should listen to Mary C. Crowley who said, “Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway.”