Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Antidotes to Worry

There seems to be a lot to worry about these days. In my experience, worry doesn't actually do anything. It does, however, often cause stress, anger, and short tempers. I observe then that the worrier tends to take their stress out on people we really love, with yelling, curtness, impatience, crabbiness, etc. Usually what follows is guilt and remorse, because we know we've hurt people we love.

So I try not to worry. How do I do that? Action and planning and faith are my antidotes to worry.

There's always a next step to take, be it gathering information from knowledgeable sources or not purchasing that thing that seemed so necessary or saving a little bit of money each day. We don't know what might happen, so it pays to be cautious right now. I am being prudent in my plans, putting things off and being a little less ambitious, as well as lengthening my time horizon from a year to five or ten years from now. Finally, I trust in my God. I will always be OK as long as I have faith that I will always be OK. No matter what happens, I will have the strength to find a solution. Faith helps me be open to a solution appearing to me.

Remember the story about the devout guy who's in a flood? He goes to the second floor of his house, saying "God will provide!" A boat comes by and the people say "climb in! we'll take you to safety." He says, "no thanks, God will provide!" The water gets higher and he's in the attic. Another boat of people come by saying "come on, get in, time's running out!" Again he tells them "no, God will provide!" Finally, he's on the roof of his house when a helicopter comes by and drops a line. He shakes his head, shouting "God will provide!" Of course, he drowns. When he gets to heaven, he asks God "why did you let me drown?" God says, "I sent two boats and a helicopter - what more did you want?"

For me the moral of the story is that answers, help, and solutions are all around me if only I let go of my idea of what the help should look like. Once I take off my blinders of certainty, I get a new view of the world. Openness to all the universe has to offer is a key element of my faith - now, more than ever!

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