goodbye, worries

“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

This past weekend I had one of those great insights into my process. You know when all of a sudden, one of your habits is illuminated and you understand it with great clarity? And it takes a while to actually make the change settle into your life, but once you’ve seen things this new way, you’ll never really be able to go back to that habit in quite the same way?

Yeah, I love it when that happens, too.

What got exposed for me these last few days was my worry. I worry a lot. I confuse worrying with caring and loving – I used to believe that I worried because I cared so much. Now I know that’s not true.

I worried because I was arrogant. Because I was trying to hang on to the illusion that I have any kind of control.  Worrying gives me something to do – thoughts to direct through the busy intersections and flooded highways in my mind.

I worried instead of feeling – instead of sitting with the vulnerability of not knowing whether people I love are going to regain their health, of not having quite enough money to pay for things around here. Instead of sitting with my feelings of insecurity as a mother, I indulge the fear that I am wrecking my son forever by letting him watch Sto.mpin Tom videos on the iPa.d until his eyeballs fall out so that I can try to finish the dishes or drink a cup of tea or check Faceb.ook.

I worried because I was scared, but I’m going to be braver from on.

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15 Responses to goodbye, worries

  1. LisainSK says:

    I was just thinking of you yesterday!! Great to hear from you. Hope you and family are doing well. Yes, we worry WAYY too much.

  2. Nadine says:

    As odd as it sounds, I’m not a worrier, I learned a long time ago that bad stuff happens and good stuff happens and worrying about nothing will jut hurt my brain.bu, that’s silky worries I separate that from genuine real concerns that I can impact. Which probably makes no sense at all but perfect sense in my mind. My husband is a worrier”will this plane crash kind” and hates it when I say “well if it’s your time to go, it’s also everyone else on this planes time”.

    Good to hear from you.

  3. I have a lot to learn on this topic. I worry about worrying. Thank you for giving me something to think about.

  4. Oh boy, can I relate.

    But no, I don’t know what that’s like. ;-)

    I have not wrecked my kids yet. At least I don’t think so. They might tell you otherwise.

    Here’s to bravery.

  5. tarable says:

    Worrying is as effective as trying to solve a math equation by chewing bubblegum.

    Or something like that.

    Yeah, worry is a hard habit to break.

  6. a says:

    I’m not a worrier…until I am. Sometimes, I am overcome with undefined anxiety – it’s strangely like a psychic connection with my husband. Every time it happens, my husband gets into some sort of dust-up at work. But since he works in Afghanistan, I usually get half a day of checking the internet for information on mortar attacks in before I get an email or text message from him. And I am totally wrecking my child. But she’ll be an interesting character for it. :)

    I hope that you can put aside the worrying. I know you’re brave enough – but it’s a hard habit to break! Best of luck.

  7. coffeegrl says:

    “We worry as though we had a thousand years to live. Let us strive after the gentle humor of the heart which knows how to smile at the world.” — Nico
    This used to be on a poster in my bedroom when I was a child. It had the picture of a small girl dressed as a French clown. I studied it a lot as a child – reading and re-reading it and trying to understand why my mother said I worried too much as a child. Oddly enough, I don’t think I worry as much now as I used to. I think my sister does enough worrying for our whole family – maybe that’s why I’ve tried to relinquish some of the worrying. But when I feel the worrying set in, I always think of that poster.

  8. slowmamma says:

    Motherhood seems to have tapped my inner worry. I am all about following in your footsteps and tossing it into the compost bin.

    Never go back!!

  9. s.e. says:

    Never quite looked at worrying with that perspective. I worry little and sleep well every night. I do have stressful times when my anxiety level rises but I am a very matter of fact kinda girl. While travelling in Hawaii, our B&B was near an active volcano. The owner said “If the thunder doesn’t get you, the lightening will.” I took that to heart and repeat it often.

    And dear Anna, you can never wreck C. You are pouring way to much love into that little man.

  10. loribeth says:

    Your son has interesting tastes in music…! ; ) (I wonder how many people under the age of 30 have an inkling who Stompin’ Tom is anymore??)

  11. Jess says:

    What an insightful thought!I worry a ton and I’ve never really given a thought as to why….I just chalk it up to my grandfather was a worrier and it’s genetic. I’m going to have to think about this a bit now….

  12. Loren says:

    I love your writing. I had to finally respond to this post in particular. How true. We cannot control it. It just is. I have signed up to hear from you and would really like to talk with you via email if you ever have a minute.

  13. Deathstar says:

    Watching Stompin’ Tom would make MY eyes fall out, but I’m sure he will be fine. I hate not having control. Hate it. I’d throw myself on the floor and wail but the Precious has cornered the market on that.

  14. Esperanza says:

    I could have written this post, except I don’t think I’ve had that ah-ha moment yet about my worry, even though, as a student of Buddhism, I understand it, and it’s inherent futility, very, very well. My favorite quote about worry is the one that reminds us that worry doesn’t take the strength from tomorrow’s sorrow but sucks the joy from today (I’m paraphrasing). Remembering that helps me a lot. I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression a lot and now, as a mother, I can find infinite things to worry about. I try not to and some days are better than others. Thanks for reminding me how useless worrying is. I can’t learn that enough.

    And thanks for the comment on my post!

  15. shinejil says:

    It’s insane, the dreck these tykes can watch over. and over. and over… and AAAAAH! Though my dude has gotten into Yellow Submarine, which makes more sense as toddler entertainment than adult enrichment. I hear what you’re saying about worrying–the bar is put waaaay too high, esp for those of us who feel the Attachment Parenting vibe closely–but we do indeed need to let go. You need to do things, and the only way that’s possible with a toddler is if they are very, very distracted.

    Now, if our children would just let go of that nursy, we’d be in business. BTW, I was thinking: If the little guy has cut back a bit on the nursing, it can totally tank your mood (or it can for me).

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