I have been contemplating committing to a worry free life. Lofty wouldn’t you say? But imagine. Imagine the Freedom. Imagine the Joy. Imagine the Peace that would bring me.
I am a person with a natural bend towards anxiety. Is it hormonal? Is it a result of my upbringing? I don’t know. I wake up too many mornings with a big pit in my stomach for no reason at all. When I run a quick analysis with my rational brain, I can see the comfortable life, I can see the happiness, I can see good fortune. Yet I feel the pricks of sadness, nervousness and fear. There is tension and angst within me that I cannot explain.
Thankfully, I have become an expert at recognizing my moods and with awareness came better management of those disquieting emotions. But I long for more.
I want to look beyond today. Beyond the to-do list. The must dos, need to, even the want to, come loaded with their share of stress and pressure.
Surely my life will amount to more than the sum of my day-to-day?
Yes, I must accept life’s parameters. I need to buy groceries. I need to cook. I need to pay bills and answer e-mails. Yes, I want to homeschool our daughter and teach her to be excited about learning. But will it really matter whether I buy the apples or the oranges, whether we eat pasta or rice today? Will it matter which curriculum I use or if I don’t use any? Will it matter if the customer must wait an extra day for his order to be fulfilled? Will it matter if my digital photos are not organized and labeled?
There are so many details to work out and I fret about making the right decisions. Yet so often all of the options are acceptable. The energy I spend worrying about making the best choice is at once useless in helping me with the task at hand and detrimental to the rest of my life.
The worry I feel wants me to believe it is for the better but invariably it leads me to worse. Worry is fear in disguise. Fear of the future. Fear of others. Fear of oneself. At its core, it is fear of not being good enough.
If I buy the whipped cream here and find it one dollar cheaper at the other supermarket, then I must not be a good money manager. Even though I am in the privileged position of having the extra dollar to spare. After all time is money.
If I buy this toaster and it breaks in three months, then I must not be an educated consumer. Even though this is America and I can most likely return or replace it at no cost.
If I don’t fulfill the order in one day, then I must not be a good business manager. Even though I’ve received more than one e-mail praising our customer service.
When I let them loose, these petty worries rule my life and make me their slave. With practice, it has gotten easier to spot them, leash them up and put them in their place.
But what do you do with the big worry? The one you can justify. The one that really would upheave everything if it came to pass. Like the worry, I have about becoming a widow.
When I take a deep breath, I clearly see that even that worry needs not be. I can prepare a little and hope a lot but worry is pointless. For once, worrying does nothing to prevent what I dread but it does make me more anxious. It tightens my muscles. It furrows my brows. It wipes off my smile and erases the dimples my husband so cherishes. It has the tongue of a serpent who coils lies into the appearance of truths. “Maybe if you don’t get so close to him and so dependent upon his presence, maybe it will be easier to cope if you lost him.” It sneers in my head. What kind of backward, twisted, upside down thinking is that?
Worry is not a friend. It has no virtue. It multiplies the bad and subtracts the good. It zooms in with a gray filter on an unknown future and blurs our reality, no matter how good, with a lens of negativity.
Life is sure to send me my share of problems, irks and annoyances. It’s up to me to face each one with a steady, courageous and faithful heart. It’s up to me to believe that I am good enough and then some! It’s up to me to believe that there is little I cannot conquer. Winning comes in many forms. Sometimes surrender IS the right choice. Letting go is not falling. The universe is here to support me.
“It’s all going to be okay in the end. If it’s not okay It’s not the end.” — John Lennon