You are 6 years old. Late at night you are hiding under your blanket. For what seems like an eternity you lie awake hoping the ‘goblin’ doesn’t ‘get you’. It doesn’t. Did you learn something? Was all that worrying necessary?

Maybe you still worry needlessly. So many things are out to get you:  germs, lawyers, trucks following you on the highway. Such a variety of threats. Your life is one ‘encounter’ after another. You have developed skills to cope:  avoidance, accommodation, combat. But you know that sooner or later you will be overcome. Inevitable. So? Do you obsess about life’s challenges or do you forge ahead with a positive attitude and accept your vulnerability?

Constant worrying is a very childish, ego-centric preoccupation. The world is not out to ‘get’ you … it just IS. You realize early in life that, unfortunately, you are vulnerable to inevitable ‘intrusions’. Trip over the dead guy … staring up at you … you know you have problems. “How did he get there?”  “What do I do?”  There are legitimate ‘warnings’ and threats that you must ‘take seriously’. You must get a flu shot. Better avoid that neighborhood. Don’t forget the mace. Fine. Deal with what you MUST deal with. But never let a problem ‘babble on’. Your sponge like consciousness has a propensity to absorb all sorts of detritus. It is up to you to filter out most of it. Of course, some concerns will remain with you always. “Oh my … tomorrow … the dentist office.”  For the rest of the day does this ‘horrifying’ prospect reverberate in your brain … like a bouncing ball on a rubber band? Difficult to control. It keeps ‘popping up’. You have probably become accustomed to this. But it will always be discomforting. What to do. Accept it and MOVE ON!!  You know you can. How?

Prioritize and renew your goals. If you proceed with purpose in a particular direction, it is so much easier to extricate yourself from the inevitable potholes and ‘quicksand’ and continue on with your journey. Commitment to striving and maintaining confidence in your choices:  this strengthens your steadfastness in the face of fear. Purpose provides armor that will shield you from insidious questioning. You can live without these personal harangues:  “Should I?”, “What if?”, “Am I doing the ‘right’ thing?”  A positive attitude is essential in banishing opportunistic, intrusive anxiety. Treat it as an impediment to your progress. Understand it. Disdain it … a waste of your time and energy.

Learn to experience the joys and pains of life with acceptance and resignation. You are always moving on. You will not succumb to transitory misfortunes:  “It was terrible.” “It could happen again.”  “It might...”  “He might...”  “They might...”  Sure, anything is possible. Lessons should be learned. What to avoid in the future is important. But the past does not exist. You are you NOW and nothing positive is going to happen unless you decide it will. Why spend time and energy debating possibilities, weighing all the contingencies. Wars are not won standing around biting your nails. Make decisions and ‘go for it’. Make a mistake? Admit it, rectify it and move on. You have the power to overcome most obstacles. And it is so much easier without self-inflicted loadstones of anxiety.

NEVER LET WORRY BECOME AN IMPEDIMENT TO PROGRESS … AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION, INDOLENCE, SELF-PITY. Let nothing undermine your potential for accomplishing, for realizing the best you. Have faith in your striving, your commitment to goodness. This will spare you much grief. And, more importantly, you will have time and energy for what is important:  caring and growing spiritually.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.