New Pathways

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for Women

Born to Worry

You know how some people seem born to lead…born to create….born to be a parent?  I think I was born to worry.  When all is well, I wonder when the sky will fall, when the blessings will evaporate, when the darkness will roll in.  When life is challenging, I worry about how much worse it will get, and how I will ever survive the blackness.

As a self help queen, I have read all the books that dispense advice to those of us prone to gloom and doom as our set point.  I have made the daily gratitude journal where I list my thankfulness for all that is good in my life and what blessings came to me that day.  Then, I find myself worrying whether tomorrow will be bleak and what might await me in the morning.  I write inspirational quotes down to help me focus on the positive, and then I worry I will lose the quote.  I listen to Oprah and worry that since she left her talk show she might be feeling lost and adrift.  I worry for Deepak Chopra as I listen to his meditations about what in his life happened to make him pursue such an enlightened, meditative path.  You get the point.  I’m a worrier.

I worry for myself.  I worry for those people I love and care about.  I worry about people I don’t know but run into on the street.  I worry about people in far flung reaches of the world that I read about or hear about on the news.  Don’t get me started about how I worry about my only daughter!!

I especially worry about my behavior and actions.  I worry that in the past I said the wrong thing or behaved inappropriately and hurt someone’s feelings.  I worry that in the future I will not know the right thing to say or the right way to behave, and I will embarrass myself and those around me.  Yes, I was born to worry. 

I was given a copy of a poem recently that expressed me perfectly…

I WORRIED by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers

flow in the right direction, will the earth turn

as it was taught, and if not how shall

I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,

can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows

can do it and I am, well,

hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,

am I going to get rheumatism,

lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.

And gave it up.  And took my old body

and went out into the morning,

And sang.

Maybe I wasn’t born to worry…maybe I was born to sing!  (But not out loud…I can’t carry a tune and not in public, that would be too embarrassing…maybe not actually sing, but hum a little?  Quietly, to myself, in the car?…)

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