by Rev. Gena Gilcrease
(I'll be giving a talk on this subject Wednesday 8/7 at church)
You might remember MAD magazine and this motto of the mascot, Alfred E. Neumann.
Maybe that’s why he has such a big smile – he has released the habit of worry.
Fear has many faces, and one of its devious forms is worry.
One definition of worry is to allow one's mind to dwell on difficulty over actual or potential problems. In these definitions, it’s easy to see that one has allowed one’s mind to be enslaved by certain thoughts.
Another definition of worry is to choke or strangle, to harass by tearing, biting, gnawing or snapping, as a dog or other carnivorous animal. We could say that when you worry, you are really strangling, choking, or gnawing yourself!
Worry seems inconsequential, not as big as fear or facing demons or dragons. However, the real danger of worry is that it becomes a state of mind, blocking our good from reaching us.
· Worry is negative prayer.
· Worry is always apologizing, being sorry, doing or saying the wrong thing.
· Worry is bringing up thoughts, words, and emotions about the past or future.
Changing the mind set of worry is necessary for living a happy and productive life.
Books abound on how to stop worry – Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie is a well-known classic.
But’s it’s difficult to do a “don’t.” The mind responds to a “don’t “as though it was something you told yourself to do. So it comes out as: Worry!
More helpful is to think - what’s the opposite of worry?
So, in the midst of worry, we affirm things like: I am calm in all circumstances. I am confident that I can handle whatever comes to me. I feel joy at the ease and beauty of my life. I trust in a higher power always directing me perfectly. I feel peace in all areas of my life.
Worry is living in the past or future.
As the saying goes, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery.”
All we can do is live in this day, or even more so, to live in this present moment. All we have is this present moment, so we have a day filled with moments of “now.”
Tomorrow will be a whole new set of “now’s.”
Many books address this.
I would like to recommend Be Here Now by Ram Das, and The Power of Now by Ekhart Tolle.
The Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn has many books to soften your mind and heart into the present.
I would also like to recommend 10-minute mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport.
This e-book gives many practical tips and triggers for living a life in the present.
As well, you might engage in relaxing exercises and meditation. At least take a few minutes to breathe deeply and think on something pleasant and beautiful.
All of these are excellent to awaken to the pleasure of living in the now.
Once you start doing this, you won’t want to go back.
Living in the present moment is the key for a life of calm, peace, and joy.
What, me worry? ______________________________________________ Be Here Now, Ram Das https://amzn.to/2F1sgL3 The Power of Now, Ekhart Tolle https://amzn.to/2HFt6m6 Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hahn. 10-minute mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment, S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport ttps://amzn.to/2vwkzx5