Matthew 6:34 says: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Essentially, it is saying, “Don’t worry be happy.” (Can you hear the song – Don’t Worry, Be Happy). It’s a catchy little tune, isn’t it?
In his book, Holy Sweat, Tim Hansel tells the story of an afternoon he spent with his six year old son, Matt, in a state park, playing around some small cliff faces and large rocks. All of a sudden, Tim heard a voice from above yell, “Hey dad! Catch me.” He turned around to see Matt, in mid air, falling toward him.
It was a circus act catching him. They both fell to the ground. For a moment Tim could hardly talk. When he found his voice, he gasped in exasperation, “Matt, don’t ever do that again! Can you give me one good reason why you did that?”
Matt responded with remarkable calmness, “Sure, I can. Because you’re my dad.”
“My son’s action,” he writes, “was based on his total trust in me. Matt can live life full out. He doesn’t have to worry because he knows I’ll be there. Anywhere. Any time.”
Matt was telling his father, “Don’t worry…”
The word worry comes from an Anglo-Saxon word which means to strangle or to choke. The Greek word for worry in the New Testament passage above means ‘to divide, rip, or tear apart.’
Worry, it seems, ‘chokes’ the joy out of life. It ‘rips and tears’ at the fabric of living full out. It ‘strangles’ our enthusiasm. Its suffocating negativity
shows on our faces and over-all demeanor,
leading to the assumption that we’re worrywarts.
The word worrywart probably first appeared in Ivan Belknap’s 1956 book Human Problems of State Mental Hospitals. He called chronically nagging and delusional people who filled their days with worry and tormented themselves and others all of the time ‘worrywarts.’ Other sources claim the phrase first appeared in J.R. Williams’s comic strip Out Our Way in 1956.
We think the origin of worrywarts occurred long before that. We believe it started when cavemen, and cavewomen, wondered what food they would eat or if they would be the ones eaten instead.
Just so you don’t worry about our sanity, there’s research to support ourworrisome worrywarts’ viewpoint. We (meaning humans) seem to be hardwired to worry—perhaps an artifact of ancient memories carried over from ancestral times when there were countless threats to our survival (Wright, R., The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, Vintage, 1995). That’s just one of the worrisome findings on worry.
At any rate, worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere! Actually, it does take you somewhere. It puts you in hospitals. Here’s another worrisome finding.
A Mental Health study reported a few years ago that half of all the people in hospitals may be there because of the residual effects of worry. Isn’t that incredible! Worry-itis (our term) can lead to all kinds of health problems: headaches, arthritis, heart trouble, colitis, backaches, ulcers, depression, digestive disorders, making wrong turns on the freeway, forgetting appointments, not taking time to enjoy a delicious Goodberry’s peanut butter concrete cone. Some people literally worry themselves to death.
The bottom line is: worry has no nutritional value. It keeps the body, mind, and soul in disequilibrium. So, – “Don’t worry…”
Worriers are negativity hypochondriacs. They worry about everything. And if they find themselves in an uncharacteristic moment when they don’t have anything to worry about, they worry about the fact that they aren’t worrying.
And they wear worry like a badge of honor.
How often do we worry about something that we could have released hours ago, days ago, years ago? How often do we worry about things which never happen?
From a Metaphysical Perspective
Remember the passage we introduced at the beginning of this blogcast? “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,” says the Revised Standard Version of Matthew 6:34.
And the New Metaphysical Version of the same verse says: “We should not concern ourselves about unmanifested good; right thoughts and actions help move possibilities into probabilities and hidden potentials into physical realities. So, Don’t worry…
Try the Worry Jar Technique!
We’d like to share an excellent ‘worry buster’ technique we use when we want to go from worrier to warrior. Worry preys on our mind, and keeps us from doing what needs to be done for our growth and development. So we recommend the Worry Jar. Here’s how it works:
- Find a jar, pitcher, coffee can or other suitable container that has a lid. Label it as your Worry Jar. Feel free to decorate the jar any way you choose—or don’t decorate it. It’s up to you (but don’t worry about it).
- Select a designated worry time (DWT). This should be a specific time once a week (for example, Friday night at ten o’clock). Place your Worry Jar in a conspicuous place and then move on with life as normal.
- Throughout the week, whenever you find yourself fretting over something—STOP! Grab a piece of paper and a writing instrument, record your worry, fold the slip of paper and deposit it in your Worry Jar. Remind yourself not to worry about whatever is worrying you until your DWT.
- When it’s time to worry, according to your DWT itinerary, open the jar and read the worrisome entries. Some of the things you may have worried so loyally about are history and are no longer relevant. Gloat over them before you throw them in the trash. Some issues will be pending issues, so worry about them for a few minutes.
- Once you’ve worried sufficiently over your current issues that are still pending, refold them and redeposit them in the jar, where they’ll be ready for next week’s DWT.
- Spend a few minutes (or several) in the Silence, affirming your Oneness, knowing you are connected to all you need to do what is yours to do … Be Still and Know.
That’s it! It’s a simple, but effective, technique. We highly recommend it. And we highly recommend your doing something active and constructive when you find yourself worrying about something. Why? Because just like you can’t smile and frown at the same time, it’s impossible to wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
Besides, ‘worry’ is really an acronym. It means: When Our Rationalizations Rarely Yield. And rationalizations are ‘rational lies’ – which will yield to your inner strength and resolve to live the life you want.
So, don’t worry…
You can master the art of living, as you walk the spiritual path on practical, worry-free feet!