Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

You remember that song, right?  The one that tells us (over and over) "Don't Worry; Be Happy." I used to hate that song.  I thought it was so arrogant.  Don't worry.  Yes, you might have lost your job, yes, we're still at war with the Taliban, but don't worry.  Just be happy.  Oh, I know you're mom is sick and doesn't have insurance, but don't worry.  Be happy.  What's that?  Your boyfriend just left you for no reason?  No worries.  Just be happy.

See what I mean?

It reminded me of all those Course in Miracle people who swear that evil and fear are nothing but an illusion.  Really?  Tell that to Jaycee Dugar.  I don't think she thought her 18 stolen years were an illusion.

Sometimes we have to worry or be afraid because there are plenty of worrisome and fearful things that can and do happen to us.  But, and here's the tricky part, we can't make it a habit.

All week, I've met clients who are plagued by worry.  And for some of them, they have every right to be worried.  But others I've met this week are worrying because that's the only way they know to deal with the unknown.  It's almost as though they're putting in time.  "Maybe if I worry enough, it won't happen.  Maybe my worry will serve as a penance and it will be enough to prevent this from happening."  Oh no. Life doesn't work that way.

Earlier this week, a really funny mom came through to talk to her daughter.  Her energy was fun, upbeat and positive.  She kept repeating one thing over and over.  "Tell my daughter not to worry."  And then she showed me (like a slide show on speed) how her own life had been spent consumed by worry.  "Don't make the mistakes I made.  Life is too short."  The daughter acknowledged that her mother had been a worrier and that, yes, she had inherited the worry gene too.

Like I said before, sometimes we have to worry -- when we lose our job, or when our loved ones get ill, or when we're faced with a change beyond our control.  BUT when you have the comfort of faith in your life, when you truly know what it means to surrender to a higher power, when you're able to see the bigger picture -- that everything, every little and big thing, has a higher purpose and reason -- then you'll begin to see how pointless continued worrying really is.

I worry about a lot of things.  I'm worried about our economy.  I'm worried about my youngest daughter's complete and continued hatred of any and all vegetables.  I'm worried about a client who's facing a serious illness.  I'm worried about the 2012 elections.  Really, I am.  It's going to be messy.  However, I realize that there's absolutely nothing I can do about any of these worries - except maybe bribing my daughter to eat a carrot.  Just kidding.  And pray.  I know prayer works. I've seen it work.  But to continue worrying about any of these things is akin to turning my back on God.  It's like saying to God, "Yeah, I get that you've got the universe covered and all.  But I don't trust you.  You really messed up with that whole flood thing.  And WWII! What?  Did you go on vacation for six years?  I don't think you know what you're doing.  I don't trust you. I don't trust the universe."

See what I mean?

Pardon my silly humor.  It's been a long day and I'm very tired, but I wanted to quickly blog about this mother's great message -- don't waste your life worrying.  Life is too short.

So again, yes -- you're going to worry.  But then what?  Practice moving beyond that.  Here are some fun activities for the consummate worrier to try:

1) Make a prayer jar or prayer box.  Place an angel or several angels or other spiritual representations around it if possible.  Write down your worries.  All of them.  Fold them up and drop them in your prayer jar while imagining the angels taking them up to heaven for you.  It's important to get our worries physically out of our body so they don't fester and manifest as physical illness.

2) Write down your prayers.  Turn your worries into prayers.  Instead of, "What if I don't get another job???" Write down, "I pray that the right job for me presents itself now.  Thank you."  Have you read The Help?  Great read.  Remember how Aibileene wrote down all her prayers and they happened?  It works!

3) Practice visualization for 15 minutes a day.  If you're worried about not having a job, spend some time every day visualizing yourself getting a great job.  Really imagine your outfit, the conversation when you accept the job, the salary.

4) Any black stone or smoky quartz is great to hold or wear when you're consumed by worry.  You can ask the stone, too, to help you absorb your worries.

5) Watch your words about things you constantly worry about.  If, for example, you often say, "Oh no, here comes flu season; I know I'm going to get sick," try to catch yourself and change that belief just with your words.  "I am healthy, happy and whole.  I am healthy, happy and whole."

Worry can become a habit.  But habits can be broken.  I won't end this blog by admonishing you to just be happy.  But I will say this: to worry is to doubt; to be happy is to trust.

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