I don’t remember too many Bible verses from my church school days (horrible, because those days really numbered in years). But one that has always stuck with me is Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I’m a worry wart, you see. And I’ve had a lot of practice.
I remember vividly standing in my living room, maybe 8- or 9-years old, unable to sleep. I recall crying to my mom, worrying about school, and how Leanna didn’t talk to me at recess, and how I got in trouble for chattering in class, and how I would never be able to afford college, and if I didn’t go to college, I would never be able to have a good job, etc., etc. My mom offered words of comfort and soothed me enough to get back to sleep, but I learned young how to cultivate worry.
And as it turns out, I made it through school, and friendship dramas, and college (after college, as it happens) without too much trouble. Worrying served little purpose besides keeping me up at night.
If I could give my younger self (and my yesterday self for that matter) any advice, it would be to manage worry and anxiety, and stop borrowing trouble. It’s easier said than done as an adult, where the troubles seem so much larger and complex. But living with constant anxiety is not good for the soul, stress level, or psyche.
Nowadays, although I’m not always good at it, I try to reframe worry, asking myself: Does fretting about X-Y-Z issue change anything about it? Am I worrying instead of acting? Is there anything I can do to make a meaningful difference at the present time? If I can’t do anything beside worry, then I try to force myself to let it go and give it to the universe, as my dear friend Shannon would say.
And when that doesn’t work, I try distracting myself. Or meditating. And chocolate. Never as much worrying when chocolate is involved!
– April 1 The April Fool’s joke that won’t quit