Why Bother Cutting Ties With Worry?
I used to worry when I wasn’t worried. It felt as though I was being negligent or forgetful, that I was guilty of slacking off.
Worry had become a reliable, constant and familiar companion. Even though it was egotistical, thinking it was always right, I let it have its way with me. I didn’t argue with it, at least not at the start of our relationship.
I don’t remember when I first met Worry. I don’t recall who introduced us to each other. It just appeared one day, something tiny and insignificant. But the more I paid attention to it, the bigger and bossier it got.
Apprehensive with my imperfections, Worry convinced me that without it, I’d never make it in life. I’d be on the outside looking in. I’d be short changed, worse off than everyone else. “I’m essential,” it told me. “You can’t do without me.” This character made itself believable and I gave way to it. Worry changed my life, but not for the better.
First of all, Worry made me work harder. It’s not a kind taskmaster. Worry is never pleased. “The job is never done,” is one of its precepts. “There is always more to do,” is another one of its laws. Worry always raises the bar, never allowing one to feel the sense of success, or a job well done.
Additionally, Worry demands the impossible from me, “Keep your ducks in a row,” it shouts out. There are no vacations with Worry, no down time. According to Worry, if you are not hyper vigilant, then you are a loser.
Consequently, Worry always wanted me to think ahead, never allowing me to enjoy the moment. “You have to prepare for all the what ifs. You don’t want to be blind sided,” It told me.
So I practiced predicting the words and behaviors of others, envisioning possible scenarios with them. But it became an exhausting way to think.
“People are too unpredictable,” I argued with Worry.
“You’re not trying hard enough,” it shouted right back at me.
In addition to working overtime during the day, I also had to make room for Worry in my bed at night. Worry does not believe in giving anyone a good night’s rest and I’d often jolt awake, feeling an elbow in my ribs if I slept too soundly.
I grew tired of Worry and its ways. I wanted it to leave me alone. At first, I was nice about asking it to go away, but Worry does not respond to the soft touch. So I gave up being considerate of its feelings and instead began telling it to “shut up,” even though I was taught never to use those words.
“I don’t know,” was something else I was told never to say. But when Worry badgered me about something in the future and I began saying, “I don’t know,” I started smiling. I can’t predict the future and speaking the truth to myself feels a lot better than pretending to know something that I don’t.
Worry comes around a lot less often these days or is it that I’m just not listening to it too much any more?
Why bother cutting ties with Worry? It’s worth it because without Worry, you might get a good night’s rest and enjoy the unpredictable possibilities of living every day moment by moment.