I have done a huge disservice to my children, and if it were possible to go back in time and change it, I would.
My kids are grown and living on their own now, but I can see where I should have done a better job raising them. I should have been a better example and taught one of the most valuable lessons they would need once they were on their own.
I have taught my children the art of worrying.
The Art of Worrying
I have been a worrier for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I worried if I would make any friends when my dad got transferred to another base. When I got older, I worried I would never get married and have kids. When I did have children, I worried we wouldn’t be able to give them what they needed. And today, I worry because my kids worry.
“Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” ~Glenn Turner
My husband should have coined the above phrase because he has tried for years to get me to relax and live in the moment. Anytime I have come to him with a problem I may be over thinking or stressing about, he has always told me “everything will work out, it always does.” He has never been wrong.
“Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday” ~Unknown
The problem with worry is it occurs mostly in the past or the future. We can spend so much energy worrying about what has already happened, or what we think might happen in the future, that we miss what is going on today. Most of what we worry about for the future never happens, and what has already happened we can not change.
“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone [or anything] else that much power over your life.” ~Mandy Hale
I can’t remember ever being happy and worried at the same time. Worry robs us of happiness. I remember on our 15 year wedding anniversary when my husband came home with 15 long stem roses for me. Instead of appreciating the thoughtfulness, I freaked out because we couldn’t afford such an extravagant gift and I stressed the rest of the day (and longer) about the cost of the flowers. Of course, my reaction also impacted the rest of my husbands day as well not because he became worried about it, but because I wouldn’t stop.
I have learned over the years to take control of worry when it comes knocking on my door. Do I succeed every time? No way, but I found a few ways of relieving worry.
Steps to Alleviating Worry
First – I ask myself if the problem is solvable. If the problem has to do with something that has already past or something that hasn’t happened yet, then I say out loud “It is what it is,” and I do my best to move on with my day. If it is solvable, I will make a list of possible solutions and take action.
Secondly – I accept the unknown as just that, unknown. If there is no way to solve the issue because it is something that could affect the future or it happened in the past, then I have to remove it from my thought process. This may need to be done 100 times in the course of an hour, but the longer you practice something, the easier it becomes.
Lastly – I change my perspective. Worrying clouds the mind and prevents us from seeing the positive aspects of our life. When we are wrapped up in worry, it is easy to forget what we do have. Changing the way we look at a problem will help us be happier, healthier and thankful for the things we have right now.
And so, as my children go through times of worry and hardship, I am doing my best to re-teach them and show them the art of worrying is a pointless way of living. It may be too little, too late, but I am hopeful they will learn earlier than I did. After all, their father has been an excellent example of living a worry-free life.