Worrying will never change the outcome
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or an illness or have ever waited for an answer that was important to you, then you’ve probably experienced worry in your life. Be it waiting for test results due to your health or in school or at work ~ be it a job application, your driver’s test, a pregnancy test, a pathology result or anything else, many times worry is our comfortable go-to emotion.
Not that I’m saying that to worry is comfortable. No way Jose! Worrying is uncomfortable, but for many of us, it’s the routine emotion that we turn to when we are waiting for the results of something important to us.
Perhaps you are one who worries and thinks about all the possibilities for the outcome of the test. You can imagine the good, the bad and the ugly result. You can even go so far as to give yourself the worst result and then plan on how you will deal with that answer, plan how your life will change and how you will live with that change in your life.
Or do you worry, then imagine how relieved you will feel when the result is what you were praying for so that you are healthy?
Or are you the one who just can’t get past the what if’s and can’t even go to to the next step of imagining how life would go on if the result were bad? Your mind continues to run round and round, thoughts whirring and repeating in your head until you can’t even think straight?
Or do you acknowledge that you are worried about the outcome, but then hands the control over to God/Universe/Life and goes on about the day knowing that no amount of worry gives us any more control over the situation than non-worrying? Practicing telling the family the dreaded results or the happy ones still doesn’t change the situation at all for the moment. Without knowing the result, this is all just busy mind conjecture and doesn’t do anything, but drive us into a frenzy at warp speed.
Do you relate with any of the above situations? Are you a worrier? Do you know someone who is?
Well, join the club my friends for I’m a worrier too.
I grew up surrounded by worriers. ‘What if’s’ ruled the roost, cocka-doodle-dooing from morning to dusk growing up. In fact, it became so ingrained in me that my first instinct if I’m not careful in my thinking goes right back to the ‘what if’s’ and to the worst outcome and how I will live with that result in my life.
I remember my father used to tell me that I needed to check my breasts to make sure that I didn’t get breast cancer. His own mother had died from it when he was studying for his last exam during his senior year in college. I don’t remember if he annoyed my sister with those same worries, but I clearly remember feeling pestered by him. It almost felt constant although it surely wasn’t. However, it was his constant worry that made me flippantly tell him that if I did get breast cancer, I would simply get my breasts taken off and get new ones. I’d be the perkiest 80 year old on the beach due to non-saggy implants if that happened. And off I’d go, on my merry way, feeling smug in having told him and gotten him off of my back, stunned into silence by my bravado. And more than 14 years later ~ his worry came true and so did my flip answer to him.
Now I’m not blaming his perseveration of worrying about me getting breast cancer is what gave it to me, but I am saying that we need to watch our words and what we choose to put our attention to in this life. My smug retort came true ~ I did end up with breast cancer and with a double mastectomy. In fact, I have endured 3 separate reconstructions of those perky boobies. So I ask you, what are the odds that his worry, my response and what happened are all related?
But back to worry ~ it’s easy for me to tell you not to worry ~ and believe me, I’ve counseled many people (not to mention myself!) to not worry about what may happen ~ I’ve even gone so far as to tell them that worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair and expecting to get somewhere ~ you can rock and rock all day long, but you’ll still stay in the same place.
I’ve offered to help people pack up their worries and give them to God/Universe or even to hand them over to me for awhile, knowing that I’d keep the bundle safe for them and that they could have it back whenever they chose (of course, I was going to drop that bundle into God/Universe’s lap as soon as I got my hands on it!) No way was I burdening myself with their worries!
It’s amazing how people react when I tell them that I’ll take their worries. They don’t want to give them up ~ they think because they have their pile of worries, they are in control of the situation. It makes us somehow feel more in control when we hold our own worries, we’re greedy misers who don’t want to Let Go and Let God. We believe that we hold the key with our worries. Sometimes, we don’t even realize how stressed and how tightly we are holding on to the ‘what if’s’ and the anxiety which uncertainty brings to our lives. We just know that if we can be left alone to worry, to agonize and to perseverate on the matter, we can somehow make it come out as we want. We believe that we have control.
Well, my darlings, guess what I’ve learned? We don’t have control over everything.
There, I’ve said it. Whew ~ do you believe me? Do you think you have special control powers? Do you believe that you are different? Because I did too for a long time. Now I’ve just learned that I need to go with the flow, do my best, be as healthy as I can and just keep on living, loving and breathing.
Sorry for the long post and I apologize to whomever I copied the above image from on Pinterest. It was so perfect that I just had to use it.
Thanks for reading today ~ I would love to hear how you feel about worry.
If you are a worrier, how are you dealing with worry in your life?
My dad always used to tell me, “There’s no use worrying until there’s something to worry about.” And I think he, for the most part, follows his own advice. For me, his advice falls into the category of, “simple, but not easy.” I’m a worrier. No question.
I heard a neat story on the radio the other day about the effectiveness of worry, and for me it put things in a better perspective. A woman in southern Indiana spent her days walking the boundary of her land while carrying a big stick. She walked her land every day for six months until, finally, her puzzled neighbor came to her and asked what the heck she was doing. The woman replied, “I’m keeping the tigers away, of course.” The neighbor shook his head and said, “but there aren’t any tigers in southern Indiana.” To which the woman replied, “See, it’s working.”
I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing it.
Thank you for sharing the tiger story! I loved it! So great to connect with you! 🙂
I am SUCH a worrier, prob no surprise to you to hear that! I’ve found that if I’m really worried, if I tell hubs, he has such a great way of helping, even if all he says is “let’s work on this together” and then he calms me down. He is awesome. Whatever it is, I always feel better and it’s not so overwhelming. I hope I do that for him too, I think I do. 🙂
I think we all worry to some extent ~ I am glad you have hubs and vice versa in order to help you let go of worrying. We all need a friend when it comes to letting go of the unknown and embracing the ability to allow the flow of life. Not to say that you shouldn’t break out the paddles in the rowboat though!
Great analogy, so true!
Big hugs! xo
Excellent post and I agree that we all worry to some extent. Little things use to worry me but that changed when I got PBC, The little things didn’t seem all that important compared to the big picture of wondering if I would survive it all. I know that you can relate with the trauma you have been through. I agree that it does have someone to help you when you are going through it. I had wonderful doctors that helped but sadly my family just wasn’t there for me. I now have a special someone in my life and it’s so much better.
So grateful that you have a special someone in your life now. It’s so important for continued health! Sorry that your family wasn’t there for you ~ what a loss for them as you are such an amazing soul. xo
Thank you for that touching comment. Yes, met my boyfriend a little over 7 yrs ago and it really does help. ♥
So happy for you! 🙂 ❤
Thank you so much and happy for you too that you have someone also. It really helps! So glad that we became friends. ♥ 🙂
Me too ~ guess it’s all due to Princess Rosebud! 🙂
Yes, and really enjoy her blog,also 🙂
The best way to overcome worry is to focus on the present moment. Our lives will get out of balance when we focus too much on the past or the future.
dan @ Zen Presence
You are so right! Which is why I’ve learned to enjoy the Presents of Presence! 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!
You’re so right- and something I’m working on every day!
Good for you! Keep smiling! 🙂
I totally can relate. I’m also the type of person who worries and forms every type of possible scenario (with the worst one being the most likely to happen) and then make plan a to z, never mind b. But we just have to trust God and live and stop worrying so much. Great post.
Thank you ~ yes, that trust is God is part 2. You are brilliant! 🙂
I too am a worrier and come from a long line of worriers…but I am proud to say I am breaking that cycle. The more I put my trust in God the less I worry, when I start to worry I quickly pray and His peace does wrap itself around me. It must be working because my daughter never seems to worry and has a saying too that I try to remember, “it is what it is” that is a good reminder for me to accept whatever the problem or the reason for my stress or worry and to remain strong,to cast my fears aside and trust God. There is another saying, “If God brings you to it,. He will bring you through it” Either way things will happen, worrying about the “what if’s” doesn’t change the outcome. I tried throwing temper tantrums and yelling and even pouting and guess what it did not change a thing. Maturity in Christ is an awesome thing. ;).
Oh Patty, I knew you’d leave me a great tidbit to hold onto ~ thank you for your delightful quotes! Big hugs to you! xo
Hugs back at you! 🙂