Don’t Worry! Really?

I once heard worrying is a lot like a rocking chair . . . it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

An artist I was randomly drawn to a few years ago was Frank Turner. His new album, Be More Kind, has a song that I find myself revisiting over and over. Give it a listen, then let’s talk. . . .

 

“Don’t Worry”

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do
I’ve spent a little time in worried shoes
I wore them out through walking
It wasn’t any use
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do

Don’t give up if you just can’t get your way
Don’t listen to the bitter things they say
Put those thoughts behind you
Tomorrow’s a new day
Don’t give up if you just can’t get your way

Life hurts
And love will burn
Don’t we wish it weren’t that way
And if it
Falls to bits
You should fix it
Don’t throw it away

Don’t let your heart get hardened into stone
Or lose yourself in looking at your phone
So many so-called friends
And still you feel alone
You should spend more time with the do’s than with the dont’s

Life hurts
And love will burn
Don’t we wish it weren’t that way
When you
Can’t pull through
I will help you
I won’t push you away

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do
I don’t know what I’m doing
No-one has a clue
But you’ll figure it out
And I might too

 

What did you think?

Is it just me or do we all find ourselves worrying now more than ever? I have a lot of friends and family in my life who all have valid reasons lately for their uptick in worry. What good does it do for simple-ol-me to tell someone caught in the claws of worry that everything will be alright? What good does it do to say “don’t worry?”

Something I have learned through personal experience is the words “don’t worry” rarely causes the worry to go away. One thing I have found that does help is the genuine connection with a trusted person and a reflection of times prior when I worried endlessly and yet everything worked out in the end anyway.

To me, when I find myself trapped in an endless loop of worry, that’s when I know I have forgotten something. And that’s okay. People forget.

When I find myself stuck in worry, I forget all kinds of things. Specifically, I forget . . . .

  • that all things work together for good
  • all the times in the past I have been successful
  • when I am aware of my eternal presence all my anxiety melts away
  • I usually have something I am struggling to admit to myself
  • that my life has a divine purpose
  • the more I focus on myself, the worse I feel; but if I can brighten another’s day then the worry dissipates
  • it’s probably been a long time since I wrote anything in my journal
  • to stick to healthy boundaries of what I allow in my life
  • the joy is in the journey and not the destination
  • I am exactly where I’m supposed to be right this very second
  • my plans and Reality don’t have to be exactly the same for me to be happy
  • Reality is always perfect; my response to Reality may be causing my problems
  • life is an ebb and flow of many ups and downs
  • I don’t have to be perfect all the time
  • I may be holding too tightly to my version of how the world around me should be
  • I am not in control of anything
  • whatever minor thing I am stressed about is just that—minor
  • my past shaped me, but that is not who I am today
  • I may need a long soak in the tub
  • I may need to do a 30 minute meditation
  • I may need to remind myself that I am worthy
  • I may need to broaden my focus to include more positivity in my life
  • my childhood conditioning doesn’t have to define my current mindset
  • I am not an expert on other people’s lives
  • I need to give myself the same compassion I offer to others
  • I have everything I need in this moment
  • love actually is all around me when I choose to look for it
  • my experience on this earth is for a limited time
  • I am a spiritual being having an human experience
  • I may need to center myself in my body
  • I may need a walk

You may think this all sounds fine and good, but how does it actually apply to real life? I’m glad you asked! I have a real life example:

In order to finish my degree and graduate by next May, I have to complete 700 supervised hours at an internship site over the next nine months while working full time. In order to finish on time, I have to average a minimum of 16 hours per week at the internship. One of the issues I had was that I work an odd schedule at my current job and a variation of 8- and 12-hour shifts. In order to find some consistency and get all my hours in, I knew my schedule at work wouldn’t suit my needs. I can’t afford to quit my job and maintain my lifestyle so I had to figure something out in order to do both. I am not giving up on the call on my life to be a counselor AND I am not quitting my job until the timing is right. So, I consistently told people who asked I know it will all work out exactly the way it’s supposed to and I let go of worrying about it. Here’s the thing, I didn’t naively stop the process of figuring out what my internship would look like; I still made plans, had conversations, brainstormed, bounced ideas off people I trusted, and held tightly to the belief that it will all work out perfectly. I was determined to not worry and trust it would all happen. I believed the Universe wouldn’t place a call on my heart to be a counselor only to slam the door right before I got started. Instead, I believed if I kept taking the next step, the step after that one would be revealed in perfect timing.

I am happy to report that everything has worked out and it didn’t require any worry along the way. I will do my internship starting in July on Monday through Wednesdays at Community Mental Health until my hours are complete and I will work at my current job Thursday through Sundays. Yes, that’s seven days per week but it’s only temporary. I am humbled by the opportunities that continue to present themselves to me when I choose not to worry.

What might it take to trust—in this moment—that everything will work out perfectly?

I would like to invite you to let go of your worry.

Have a blessed day!

Peace and Love,

~Travis

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