August 17
Worry a little bit every day and in
a lifetime you will lose a couple of
years.  If something is wrong, fix it
if you can.  But train yourself not to
worry.  Worry never fixes anything.

Mary Hemingway


Today's Meditation:

I used to worry a lot.  I still worry a little, but I try to catch myself at it and stop it.  Worrying was doing me no good at all--it had no effect at all on any situation, and it aggravated the heck out of me.  And what's worse, no one has ever sympathized with me while I've been worrying.  They always say things like, "Worrying doesn't help anything."  But no sympathy.

Mary puts things in perspective very well, I think.  First of all, she helps us to realize that time spent worrying is time wasted, and since we don't have all that much time to enjoy this planet to begin with, why in the world would we possibly want to waste a couple of years of our time?  And worrying definitely is wasted time.  Secondly, she reminds us that we should try to fix things that are wrong, but if we can't, we can't, and worrying won't change that fact.

We can train ourselves not to worry.  The most important thing to do is to train ourselves to recognize when we are worrying, and to know what we're worrying about, and stop it as soon as we realize we're doing it.  I may be out of money, but worrying provides no income.  My child may be out in a storm, but worrying doesn't provide safe passage.  I can prepare myself to go out and look for her if need be, but worrying won't make a bit of difference.

If we could banish worry from our lives, what lives they would be!  And here's the problem--we can banish worry from our lives; we just don't learn how to do so.  But we can change that dynamic!

Questions to consider:

What has worry ever accomplished in your life?  How did worry accomplish it (if there is anything)?

What are some strategies you can use to train yourself not to worry?

Do you know anyone who doesn't worry?  How do they do it?  What effects does the lack of worry have on their lives?

For further thought:

Do you remember the things you were worrying about
a year ago?  How did they work out?  Didn't you waste
a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them?
Didn't most of them turn out all right after all?

Dale Carnegie


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