Worry Doesn't Work

Worry Doesn't Work

Why not live a worry free life?
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In theology today, my professor began class with a question:

"If you went into high school knowing you would get into the college of your choice, what, if anything, would you have done differently?"

This question, and my response to it, has been on my mind since because I know exactly what I would have changed: I would have put less pressure on myself, not always gone the extra mile. Bigger than that, I would not have been anxious and stressed all the time about attaining a perfection that I set out for myself.

Recently, I have felt the urge to live a "worry free life," and I think, if high school had had this caveat of me getting to go to college wherever I wanted, this is the kind of life I would have lived.

Still, this reflection isn't meant to be one that dwells on what was, but meant to inspire a new way of thinking for the present and future, this idea of a worry-free life.

What does it mean to be worry-free?

I think not worrying is often so hard because it assumes a certain trust in the unknown. Often times, we may feel this need to worry, compelled to do so because "stress is good." Before tests, I've become anxious when I'm NOT feeling anxious about it, thinking that my confidence in the material must be some sign that everything will go terribly wrong. But where is the logic in that?

A lack of worrying assumes a trust in the unknown because when we make the conscious choice to stay calm and collected in troubling situations, we are surrendering ourselves to the course of life.

When we choose not to worry, we simultaneously allow whatever will be, to be.

I use the word choice here intentionally because not worrying is a choice we make for ourselves. Our lives are in our hands: we can choose to not trust ourselves, not trust God or whomever, nor let life take its course, and be anxious about the outcomes of situations, or we can choose to surrender ourselves, by trusting that we are doing the very best we can, and let whatever will happen, happen. Not worrying is a letting go of that need for perfection.

Surrendering and trusting do not mean that if we want something, we shouldn't take action to get it, just that the backdrop of anxiousness and stress about the outcome disappears.

I have a book by Max Lucado called Live Loved: Experiencing God's Presence in Everyday Life. In this daily devotional, there is a section called "Worry Doesn't Work." In it, Lucado reminds us how:

Fret won't fill a bird's belly with food or a flower's petal with color... you can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life and not extend it by one minute."

"Worry accomplishes nothing."

Think about it: Does worry bring anything to your life? Does it add joy and insight, love or learning? For me, I'd say the answer to all of these is no.

This does not mean that we should not be ignorant about the world's issues and problems surrounding us, but that with a worry free mindset, we will be able to approach them with greater insight.

Since coming to college, I've found myself doing less work, and spending more time with the people around me. Of course, I still worry about things. However, now more than ever, I want this to shift. Worry simply has no purpose in my life.

Life is infinitely important and full of meaning, yet at the same time, the little things aren't meant to be taken so seriously.

So, the next time you find yourself anxious or stressed, worried about that test, that relationship, that job you applied for, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this mentality serving me? Just that act of recognition may be enough to shift your mindset into one that is full of less worry and more trust and faith.

Let's all strive to live our lives worry free,

Sam

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Thank you To all The Things That Didn't Work Out

Everything really does happen for a reason.

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When something does not work out as planned, our immediate thoughts are overwhelming. I have sat up many nights, staring at the ceiling, wondering why things did not work out as planned. I know sometimes you feel as if the whole world is coming down on you. I know you are frustrated at the mystery of events that could take place.

Trust me, it will get better and work out in a way you never would've imagined.

When you wallow in self-pity after things not working out, you are only hindering your success. You know when everything will get better? It will get better when you start believing in yourself. It will get better when you start to love yourself for who you are and push yourself to your fullest potential.

Life has many different paths and obstacles that we, as human beings, are faced with every day.

When we do not have a choice on the outcome of particular situations, it is hard to see the positive side.

Take a minute to close your eyes and think about the last time something did not work out as planned. Were you optimistic and positive? If not, take this advice from me.

To my 6th grade relationship where I acted out the "Romeo and Juliet" scene for my first kiss, thank you. To the immature middle-school drama, thank you. To dance auditions, thank you. To falling in love with one specific college, thank you. To having a crazy freshman year experience, thank you.

Now, these are just a handful of events that did not go as planned for me personally. I can truthfully say, with all of these "losses," I gained so much more. Sometimes we do not even realize that the plans we are making for our lives may not be the best. The plans that are meant to work out always do.

So, to the girl that is crying for not making the cheer team, say thank you.

To the guy that is frustrated about his career path, say thank you.

To the child that is left out in a friend group, say thank you.

You will one day see the path that IS meant to work out after that one "planned" path did not. It is so important to understand that you are not alone. Every single human being on this earth has once thought of a plan, only to have it destructed by a new one. Without control, without a say, our life plan can change in a blink.

So, to all the things that did not work out, thank you.

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