Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reasons to Worry

I am a worrier, of that there is no doubt. My mind loves to rev its engine until the needle hits the redline and then its races off into the distance at breakneck speeds. The road signs read "Crazy Scenario", "Disconnected Logic", and "Unclear Thinking". I recognize their dull prose but am helpless to drive the anxiety and panic and what-ifs out of my head.

My daughter needs braces. I worry about her changed appearance, the teasing from classmates, her discomfort and mental stress.

Even when she tells me she is not bothered by getting them and understands why they are needed, I still worry and drive myself crazy with a dozen different scenarios on playback in my mind.

My daughter needs glasses. I worry about her self-esteem and how much of a bother they might be for an active youngster.

Even when she tells me that she is fine with glasses and has picked out a pair with pretty dragonflies on the side, I still worry and fret. I imagine how she will feel if she breaks them or loses them.

I struggle to make friends and meet people to do life with. I worry that I have nothing to give, that I am being punished for past mistakes in my life, that I have nothing to offer.

Even when I am hanging out with folks I know from my church group, I still worry and listen to those voices and believe those images that run through my thoughts. I worry that the feelings of loneliness and my constant struggles around others will never disappear.

Now I am not totally naive. I have been around a long while. You would think that I would not be taken in so easily be a few pithy, fortune-cookie-esque sayings, but after reading a few items from the list below, I actually felt some relief ... for a time.
  • If I had my life to live over again, I would perhaps have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.
  • Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.
  • Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those that will never happen.
  • If things go wrong, don't go with them.
  • Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
  • People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.
  • You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
  • Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.
  • Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.
  • Worry bankrupts the spirit.
  • Worry, doubt, fear, and despair are the enemies that slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.