The best advice I was given in 2012 was over the phone, either in the hospital or just after arriving home with our 2 1/2 month-old. I told a friend that I was worried about —-. She said, Oh girl, don’t borrow trouble. I never realized that is what I was doing.
Months later, that phrase has rescued me from all those unborn ideas from an imagined and horrific future. It’s a horrible state to be in, worry is.
Worry can only exist in the absence of knowledge. Conversely, so can faith. You know that freak-nasty mass of hair that collects in shower drains? Well, that’s the best image I can think of to illustrate the relationship between fear and worry; worry and isolation (real and imagined); worry and pretty much all negativity. Tangled up in each other and collecting other bits of gloom. Imagine picking the hair mass loose with a bobby pin and then swallowing it. That’s basically what worrying gets you. A tummy full of foul thoughts, which leads to more bad thoughts, which leads to physical manifestations of badness.
Worry sneaks in sometimes disguised as Caring. It whispers, If I worry, it’s because I care. I thought this was true until recently. I think I worry because I’m too lazy to trust or to think or to make a decision. I worry because I’m afraid of dealing with loss or hurt. And I am afraid of this. When I am most afraid, it’s because I am already worrying. When bad things happen, you can’t always run away. If you don’t puke first, you just stand there and deal with it. Worry is a poor man’s care. When I care, I act. When I worry, I contract inside myself and my imagined, borrowed world. Boo.
Over at Optimalfitnesshub.com, Heather writes earnest and interesting blogs and she recently wrote about mindfulness and how it translates from the Chinese as present in heart. It’s a beautiful thought (and blog post). It made me think of praying. If you think praying is all about the words you say, then I offer a supplemental idea: what if it’s simply being present in heart before your higher power? That’s how I think of it. Maybe words get you there. Maybe song. Maybe silence or trees. I just know that when I speak, I don’t always know what to say except for the worries. If I silence the worries, but remain present in heart, well, that’s better. No hairballs, no borrowed troubles. Just the nitty-gritty, what’s really going on. Literally.
Speaking of silencing worries, remember with me that it, like all strains in the negative family, is contagious. Don’t let it spread; put it to bed.