Chapter 5.9 Worry and Anxiety

Worry and Anxiety

Now, we all are familiar with this useless emotion.

“I’ve lived a long life and seen a lot of hard times … most of which never happened.”
Mark Twain. (1835-1910)   American Humorist/Writer

To paraphrase this Mark Twain observation …  as he grew older, he realized that he had spent most of his life worrying about things that never happened.  Worry is an emotion of the future.

Little is resolved through Worry.  Worry results from a lack of Faith: faith in ourselves, faith in others, faith in our path, faith in the universe.  If we believed that everything was going to work out all right, then we wouldn’t have to worry.

“What, me worry?”
Alfred E. Newman    Mad Magazine

Worry starts from thinking ahead.  We start playing out scenarios.  If I do this and I do that, what are the possible results?  This process can be good because it helps to refine our path, to look a little deeper, to prepare for bumps in the road and to alter our strategies. But when it becomes consuming, and negative, Worry only drags us down.

Often, there is a point in this thought process where we realize that we will be making some steps into the unknown. This is when Anxiety can set in.  Anxiety likes to remind us that we could be making a huge mistake.  Anxiety likes to buddy up with our self-doubt and the expectation that we could look foolish.  Anxiety loves to question whether we can live up to our own standards.  Anxiety is strong and can push us down into the muck, where we could trudge in circles, going nowhere.

Anxiety can only be overcome by starting on our journey. The consequences of choosing the wrong path is usually less than the energy drained by the Anxiety in not being able to choose. We can’t make it alone, so we need to call on Faith to be our travel companion.

The more difficult aspect of Worry to deal with is the Worry about our loved ones.  We worry for their happiness, for their success, for their safety.  We worry because they are not on a path that is familiar to us (read: the path we have taken) … yet it is their path.  We worry that we should do more, to change their path to a path similar to ours, to protect them from a different life. Our path is not their path. We need to back off!

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”
Robert Frost (1874-1963)   American Poet

Worry, like anger, takes its toll on your body … your body gets tense, your emotions get low, your heart gets weak.  Worry means that you are thinking that something bad is going to happen, something very negative.

Worry also drains your energy.  You Fear what might happen.  You feed the Fear with your mental energy that is focused on your Worry.  You are making whatever you are worrying about more real. The energy that you are using to worry is taking away from the time you could spend doing something positive. You have to trust that things are going to be okay.  The more you trust, the more positive energy you create.  Your Worry isn’t going to change anything unless you can turn it into action anyway.

“Doubt can only be removed by action.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)   German Playwright

Help and support come from Love and Generosity, given through your Trust for another person.  In most cases, however, it is the other person’s call to accept your help, or even to request your help.

Many people find themselves in circumstances where their loved one is in a free-fall off the Plateau of Positive+ … examples being someone addicted to drugs or remaining in an abusive relationship.  Intervention may become necessary.  You can offer your rope, you can even tie it around them, but if they don’t want to use their own legs to climb up the hill, they will only be a drag on your energy.

A lady that my wife knows lost her son in the past year. She told my wife that:

“It took me a long time to realize that my son was here to work out his own issues in his life.  He was not here to work out my issues in my life.”

Our loved ones have to ultimately take responsibility for their own lives.  They can continue tumbling down, repeating the poor-me chant as they go.  You may keep trying, and you will keep trying to haul them back up. But if you fail in your rescue, you have to remember, that your loved ones are leading their own life.  Sorry, we can only walk our own path … we cannot lead vicarious double-lives (especially! … with your children). They are their only ancestors,we are just here to give support.

“Don’t worry about life, you’re not going to survive it anyway.”

So, Worry comes down to this.  Can you do something about your Worry?  Then do it.  Plant a seed, but don’t keep stomping it down.  Feel like you have done what you are capable of doing.  If your support is not accepted, so be it, but be open if a call for help returns.

Accept that your loved ones walk their own paths.  Just because, for a time, they walked a part of your path, their destiny lies on a different fork than you may take.  Find some way to positively funnel your energy toward assistance, instead of depleting your energy on Worry.

“I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about?”
Henry Ford (1863-1947)   Inventor of the Automobile


3 Responses to “Chapter 5.9 Worry and Anxiety”

  1. alpinerainn Says:

    This section really tugged at my heart. Fear and doubt (ie: worry!) are powerful adversaries. I do believe what Henry Ford said….I just don’t act like I do! How many hours, days, weeks have I spent on the counterproductive activity of worry? I would really hate to know. I think it comes down to a concept proposed by another of my favorite authors and gurus, Marianne Williamson in her book “A Return to Love”. She says, “Our greatest fear is not that we are powerless. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

    If we could but trust that we are indeed powerful beyond measure…we would never have to worry because we are not seeing the immediate results of our life’s work…we could trust that everything is progressing as it should.

  2. DESMOND Says:

    so henry ford believed in god, did he?
    if so, why was he so anti-labor-union?
    why did he pay his employees such peanut salaries?
    if you pay peanuts, you attract monkeys.


    • papadlight Says:

      One would guess that Ford’s concept of God was convenient for him to do things (because God is allowing it) instead of recognizing his role in finding his personal pathway to generosity and compassion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: