“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its joy.” – Leo F. Buscaglia
Don’t worry, be happy? What do you think of that saying? In the past, it bothered me; now, it makes me laugh. I come from a family of worriers. I grew up saying, “I am not worried about _________, I am just concerned. But, in reality, I was worrying.
What is worry?
Verb: worry gives way to anxiety or unease; allows one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.
Noun: worry is a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.
I have allowed myself to worry about friends that may be hurt, emotionally or physically. I sit at home and think about the situation and become anxious. I want to fix the problem and feel guilty because I can’t. I find that I want them to live by my standards and not the path they have chosen. I find that I am not trusting doctors and others to do what is best for the person; after all, I know it all.
I have lost many family members. Both of my parents died of cancer. I was worried about both on their journey. Did I ask the right questions? Was I making the right decisions? We’re they as comfortable as could be? How was I going to live without them? I spent so much time worrying about the situation that I missed some of the precious moments I could have had with them.
I worry about embarrassing myself. I don’t try new things because I don’t want to fail in front of others. I find myself questioning whether I said the right thing, whether I was wearing appropriate clothing, and whether I could succeed in something. I have allowed situations to take up space in my head, and I did not participate in some healthy activities. Instead, I sat at home, ate, and worried. I did not do anything that was in my best interest.
As I have matured in life, I am learning that worry is useless. Instead, it causes me to stop growing, turn inward, and become consumed with fear. I do not want to live this way anymore.
Recently I listened to a sermon on “Fretting” to fret is another way of saying worry. Dr. Jim Jeremiah preached, and he made the following comment, “We think we can fix those things that occupy our mind.” Can you fix it? Is it worth spending a copious amount of time obsessing about it?
At 60, I have decided to live life and let go of worry. Honestly, I just decided that I needed to change after seeing Dr. Jeremiah’s sermon. I am working on ways to put better practices in place. The biggest thing I am learning to do is let go and let God. There is almost nothing I can do to change circumstances, but I can let God care for them. The ability to allow God to take care of the problem comes from trust, which is another thing I am working on.
7 Easy Things You Can Do Instead of Worrying
· Ask yourself whether worry is helping. If you find yourself worrying about your stressor, ask yourself how helpful the worry is.
· Change tracks or channels.
· Make a "worry corner."
· Externalize your worries.
· Use humor as a distraction.
· Manage your triggers.
· Use mindfulness.
Worry also leads to fear, which can cripple us. The following Bible verses are an encouragement to me.
8 Verses to replace Fear with Faith, Courage, & Peace
1. Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
2. Psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
3. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
4. Joshua 1:9.Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
5. Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
6. 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.
7. Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.
8. Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
I encourage you to allow yourself some freedom and let go of your worry. Pray for the situation. Live life to its fullest.