What can you do to add ease to 2012?
When I first read this prompt, I didn’t even have to think twice about my answer. It is something that I has become a really bad habit for me, and most likely for others as well.
I need to stop worrying so much.
Worrying seems like a natural inclination; it is perfectly normal for a parent to worry about their child when they don’t come home at the time they’re supposed to, or a friend to worry for another friend when watching them go through an extremely difficult time. But along with that is another and a different kind of worry; the kind where you’re always doing it every single day, to the point where you literally cannot think without automatically doing it. I’ve heard of cases where people get so stressed out and so worked up that their hair starts falling out; if a person allows it to, worrying can very well take over their life.
While I’m not an expert, I’ve come to believe that anyone who compulsively worries (myself included) does it for two reasons: One, they think of the worst case scenerio (or multiple cases) as a way to prepare themselves for what could happen. That way, if it does happen, it won’t hurt as much. Two, worrying is a way of having some amount or form of control in a situation that is otherwise uncontrollable. Does that make sense?
I believe it started from when I was a kid; growing up, I was constantly afraid of trying new things because I always thought something bad was going to happen. Intertwined with that was my having to be a bit of a planner, especially when I got into high school in college. I had to plan what time I was getting up so that I had enough time to get ready in the morning. Quite frankly, I still do that.
And as far as being a planner goes? Well, let’s just say that there have been times where I’ve made three or four different sets of plans just in case something or variety of things didn’t work out (and as crazy as that sounds, it is true).
But as I’ve been reflecting on this semester, I’ve been seeing just how much of a negative effect worrying and jumping the gun have had on both me and my life: I feel like I’ve screwed up some potential close friendships because I worried so much about being alone after my roommate started doing her own thing. When I was having breakfast with a friend back in October, I had a rather tearful moment because I thought he had forgotten. Which leads me to say that a lot of times when I make plans with people, I mentally have to hold my breath because a part of me thinks that they won’t follow through. And all of that, in turn, has created some unnecessary trust issues.
My biggest worry right now is, where is my life going exactly? Lately I’ve been feeling that I haven’t really been making a whole lot of progress with things that I’d like to do or goals that I’d like to accomplish. Just recently, I was asking myself “why the hell do I still feel stuck? I’ve been in therapy for two months and I have a lot of good people around me. Why can’t I make stuff happen?”
And throughout this last week, some amazing things have been taking place. For instance, I was taking some time in the morning to do a prayer activity, and the first one talked about just appreciating all the small, beautiful things and not getting caught up in the craziness. The second activity (which I did this morning) was about looking as your trials as times to practice perseverance and learning to trust that God eventually works everything out.
Deep in my heart, I know that. I know that everything happens for a reason and that the puzzle pieces will one day come together. It is just a matter of genuinely believing in it and applying it to the way I live.
I’ll be honest, not worrying is something that is going to be very hard for me, mostly because it is something that I have done for nearly a decade or more. Worry and over planning are probably two of the worst habits that I have, and I can imagine that I’m not alone in it.
When I was a freshman, I came up with this simple little phrase: Sometimes you have to just do what you can and let God take care of the rest. Granted, it’s very general and I realize it doesn’t exactly spell out a step-by-step solution. But then again, the point of not worrying is to not have that.
It will take time and a lot of encouragement; but I have faith that with enough practice, it can be done.