Sometimes these things feel so heavy that you want to walk away from a job, a home, a relationship, or even a whole state just to try to get away from that weight.
I’ve learned that you can get away from the stress and strain by moving. It does work, but it’s only temporary. There is always something somewhere to put that stress and strain back onto you. The stress and strain is often about how you choose to react to things, more than about the things themselves.
I used to worry and worry and worry about every little thing. I worried about things I could not change. I worried about things that were going to change no matter what I did. I worried about things I already had a plan to change but would take time. All I did was worry.
Worrying didn’t change anything. Things still happened or didn’t happen whether or not I worried. Things still took as much time as they took, time didn’t speed up the more I worried.
What did change was my health. All that stress and worry was making me very ill. My body was reacting physically to the worrying. I was losing weight and becoming dangerously thin. I was having more pain. I was even having trouble walking.
Again we moved. This time it was much needed. I had to remove myself from a negative situation. At first this was very positive, but as surely as the rain comes so too came situations and people who gave me reason to feel stress and worry.
My instinct was to move, run, get away from it, but I couldn’t because part of ‘it’ was that my truck was broken down. I had to wait, be patient, and let life run it’s course. I had a plan and a way of fixing things but it would take time.
I fell back into my worrying habit and of course I began to get ill once more. I lost weight again, my body became ill, and I struggled. I knew things within myself had to change.
It took time to change my internal reactions for I had always been a worrier, but I knew this was taking away from my life. I knew that even more than that, worrying was making me dangerously ill.
I’m not sure when I turned the corner, but I know now that I have. I know because I’m being tested and I’m not falling apart. We were FINALLY on our feet, at least I felt that way. We had our truck running, our budget was coming under control, we had made some pretty major life decisions and begun to plan toward them. Things were feeling good and we had some forward momentum.
Then we had a massive budget glitch that threw us way off track and left us with food issues this month AND the truck broke down almost at the same time. Somehow I just let go of the worry. Somehow I didn’t panic. I just shook it off and worked out a plan. Of course somehow my plans always end up sideways and this one was no different but that sideways path still is leading us out of the darkness and we’re going to be ok.
Not only are we going to be ok, which of course we would have been anyway, but I never let myself slip into that coma of worry and despair. I didn’t make myself sick over it all.
Even now, as I sit wondering if we are taking path A or path B, I’m not worrying. We’ll either take Path A and fall of the side of the road or we’ll take Path A and all will be well; or we’ll take path B and fall off the side of the road or take path B and be just fine. And if for some reason we fall of the side of the road along the way, we’ll just start up another path and work our way back out.
Honestly, I have learned that, most mistakes have solutions or paths up out of them. Most of the time you simply take another turn and try again. As long as you are willing to keep trying, keep pushing forward, and keep smiling, things really aren’t that bad.
And even when I’m walking through the darkest tunnel searching for the other end and hoping for a miracle, I can still find so much I’m grateful for. Every day I am truly happy just to be alive. Every day I am grateful for the amazing journey I’ve traveled and I’m grateful for the people I’ve been blessed to meet along the way.
So, though it took a very long time, I’ve finally learned the lesson that worry is not useful. I still do worry about my friends, family, and community, but I’m learning that worry does me very little good with that either. I cannot change what is or what will be, I have no control over anything or anyone except for ME. That’s a difficult realization for a control freak but a very necessary one for someone who has let worry nearly kill them.
Every day I learn something new. I learn more about myself. I learn more about having patience. Every day is a blessing and I’m ever so grateful for every day that I’m given.