Roadblocks to Joy: Worry

Life cannot be lived free from all sense of anxiety and concern.  For example, being concerned about not having an automobile wreck will cause us to practice rules of safety…The problem is this:  it is easy to let our concerns become cares, and our forethoughts become fear-thoughts…Anxiety results.

~Wendell Winkler, 1972

A good friend of mine once described worry as the gap between what exists and what a person wants.  Unfortunately, reality does not conform to our mere thoughts of what we wish it to be.  (Actually, that’s probably a good thing!)

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We may worry about things that have already happened.  Does that change what occured?  Of course not!  Hmmm…that’s not a very productive use of time and energy, then, is it?

It’s not what you want that makes you fat; it’s what you get!

~Merry Hearts Medicine’s wise father, way back in the 1900s

When I was young and would complain about something being “unfair!” my dad used to repeat that old country saying to me.  It didn’t do much for me as a young kid, but I appreciate the message more now.  At the time, all it did was make me stomp off in frustration, giving my father a little peace and quiet to enjoy–so it worked out just fine for him.  Lol.

Let’s look for the silver lining, rather than gather more dark clouds.

~Merry Hearts Medicine, 2015

Ha ha, I thought I’d quote myself!  The point I’m wanting to add is this:  Though we cannot change the past, we can learn from it and shape a better future through the choices we make.

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We may worry about things that will inevitably happen.  Will that stop them from occuring?  No!  Hmmm…again, don’t we have more profitable things to be doing?

Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

~Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789

Life IS change.  Things break, decay, and disappear.  People mature (hopefully, anyway!), grow old, and eventually die.  Fretting about it won’t stop the passing of time.

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We may worry about things that will never come to pass.  This one is popular among worriers!  Wow…what a waste!

I remember the old man who said he had had a great many troubles in his life, but the worst of them never happened.

~James A. Garfield, 1881

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So, how do we deal with these gaps between our “wants” and our “gets,” between “it’s gonna” and “I don’t wanna,” and between our hopes and future possibilities?  As my husband is wont to say:

Do something about it, or get over it.

~Merry Hearts Medicine’s loving hubby, forever-and-a-day

Easier said than done, right?  But it CAN be done and must be done if we are to achieve true peace and happiness in this complicated world.  We will likely never reach the point of having zero worries in our lives, but pursuing that goal will bring a brighter road to travel day by day.

Life can be harassed with worry or beautified with contentment, depending upon how I make it; for both are inside jobs.  Of course, there are outside influences that may encourage and prod us to be anxious and gloomy, but we do not have to open our hearts to the pressures which are sure to torment us.

~Leroy Brownlow, 1966


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