Recently I read a tongue-in-cheek article titled something like “Stop Complaining”. Among many helpful suggestions was one that asked if the thing about which you were complaining was still going to be important to you a year or two from now. It reminded me of something about which I used to laugh when my children were small: about the time I would have worked myself up about some behavior or situation it would have disappeared.
Those thoughts lead to me thinking more about worrying and perspective. I spend entirely too much time worrying and I am guessing that a lot of other women do, too. And how useful is worry? I think that guilt is instructive: it can alert you to something and, once you are alerted, it is best to let go. Should it be the same with worry? It seems that worry can be helpful in getting us to focus on something that needs attention. Continuing to worry could rob us of a lot of happiness and gratitude. Perhaps, like the complaining article suggested or my experience as a young mother, I need to keep remembering that whatever I am worried about might leave my mind with the passage of time. And in the meantime, worrying can prevent me from “stopping to smell the roses” along the way.
Yes, sometimes there are big problems that might not be solved by thinking about them. Yet that can be where faith and gratefulness can help us. I have a friend with MS and she told me recently that she is grateful every morning when she turns on the water faucet that water comes out, thinking that there are many women in the world who don’t even have that convenience that we so take for granted. I thought how amazing it was that she, with a lot on her mind, took the opportunity to feel blessed with such a simple thing. I have another friend who is watching her grown son go through some really difficult issues and she told me that when she begins to worry she reads from her miracle course and begins to realize that things are just the way they are supposed to be whether or not she understands that in the moment.
A year ago my grown son told me that he was an alcoholic. He was in serious trouble, but we were able to get him help and with a lot of work on his part he has been sober (and much, much happier) for over a year. I spent months in a terrible place, sick with worry. Obviously this situation did not have to turn out that well; we could still be struggling with this problem in a much different way.
But I now realize that I never even allowed myself to imagine that only one year later things could be so great. And, I also realize that all the worry had absolutely nothing to do with the positive outcome.
Life can be so stressful, but I will continue to try and see things in a larger frame, with perspective, knowing that the universe takes care of us. My main lesson each day is to look around and find joy in all the wonderful people and things that surround me.
– Sandy Marquez
San Antonio, TX