Did anyone else ever whistle the great Bobby McFerrin song while driving? A couple of years before my mom passed away, she and I were driving and singing and laughing to this song. She no longer had a voice box but she still got into it with great fervor. Check out the memoir I wrote called "Finding Mother's Voice" to hear more about the devastation, humor, worry and love involved in living through my mom's laryngectomy.
I am a huge fan of quotations, especially those that are great analogies, as well. I heard someone say, "Worry is like paying interest in advance." What does that say to you? For me, the caution is to not waste time worrying about something that might not ever happen. When thinking about this topic, I remembered being nine years old and finding out that I had a really bad cavity in one of my teeth. My parents and I guessed the dentist would give us options: fill the cavity, get a crown, or even have a root canal. I fretted for days (at 9 years old, it felt like forever), so much so that my mom asked a friend of hers to do some praying or healing thoughts over me the day before we were to go in to the dentist. I was terrified of the needle, having never had any dental work done. My mother's friend said some words, asking for me to not feel any pain and not even see the needle. The next morning, we went in and the dentist said, "Oh, this won't be any problem. We just need to pull the tooth---it is a baby tooth anyway." Wait, what?? Within minutes, I had been given nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and I was "out" just long enough for them to pull the tooth---I never felt a thing and there was no pain afterwards. All that worry...for nothing!!
Working in the education field has always produced issues and things to worry about: What ifs that may or may not have ever come to fruition.
I know this to be true: Worry never helped solve any of those issues.
This is another quote that rings true for me:
What can we do, then, to combat worry?
1. Get into action---do something that either takes your mind off the worry or moves to resolve something you can take care of. Either one is better than futile worry
2. Volunteer or help someone out. A wise soul and spiritual advisor once told me it was almost impossible to be self-centered in worry while reaching out a hand to help someone else. In fact, some of the least worrisome times in my life were when I was doing mission work or helping other people. Getting outside of ourselves is a great cure for what ails you!
3. Be grateful for what you have! Gratitude seems to simply be incongruous to worry. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from none other than Helen Keller. She said:
Say what?? Helen Keller had no time to ponder over that which had been denied?? Then how in the world can I spend my time worrying? When I, instead, take time to tell God how grateful I am for all that He has given me, namely the best husband in the world, the cutest and most loving pups, an amazing career, and so much more, I am too busy to worry about the little stuff.
Just for today, if you are feeling a bit worried, perhaps you can take one of the suggestions from above and get out of the worry. You'll be glad you did.