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I Love Willie, but…

I’m not sure how many are fans of Patsy Cline, but I love her voice and the songs she made so famous! Of course, my favorite song she made popular is Crazy. The song was actually written by Willie Nelson and he made it even more famous years later.  I love Willie! Maybe it is because I am from Texas!

Songwriters, for the most part, write about some angst, which brings up deep feelings.  Perhaps their song is a celebration song that brings out joy, which is also a deep emotion. Emotions are one of the reasons we love music.

Willie wrote, “Worry, why do I let myself worry. Wondering what in the world will I do?” It makes for a lovely song, but in real life worry can be a big problem and an albatross around our neck.

Often times women in my office say, “my mother is driving me crazy because she such a worrier. She worries about things that don’t matter.” My response is, “yes, and you will be just like her unless you start working on accepting things as they are right now.”

We may have a vision of our older self. My vision is to be healthy, have fun and accept things as they are. Of course, if I have the capacity to change things I don’t like, I will do so. Most of the things people worry about are things we simply cannot change. We don’t have the power to change them.  We have to accept them. We either half way accept it while kicking and screaming with a lot of drama, or we work with it in a way that is supportive and self-loving until we can accept things as they are. I’m not suggesting it is easy to do, but a decision we make. If there is nothing we can do about a situation, we can say a prayer and let it go. Allow it to be taken care of outside of our domain!

In childhood, I was fortunate enough to have a good role model in regards to worrying. My Grandpa was a cool, calm and collected sort of guy. From what I could tell as a child, he was not a worrier. But once in awhile, my Granny would say something to him that would indicate she was worrying about something. My Grandpa’s response was always, “You are borrowing trouble.”

If we want to just sit a moment and ponder all the things that we “could” worry about, the list would be exhaustive. But what would the point be? When we consider that most things we worry about never happen or never happen the way or in the time frame we worry about, worrying is such a waste of time.

Worry is a habit that we develop in the nervous system. If we give it our energy, we will encourage it. Just like any habit, it can take hold of us and then we become slave to the habit, whether it is excessive alcohol, smoking or worrying.  So yes, I classify it as an addiction.  Why? If you are a worrier, try stopping. It is not easy, but it can be done.  It takes considerable work to re-train our mind, just as it does to stop smoking or drinking.  I consider worry a killer just like smoking and excessive drinking.

Worry undermines a person’s health. When you worry, you are thinking of the person, event, or situation that you are worrying about. Your brain doesn’t really know the difference whether you are actually experiencing it or simply thinking about it. The body reacts the same. So our body is stressed out, often meaning we are in a fight or flight response. That response begins the cascade of adrenaline flow and over time, we are worn out.

It is similar to having a bad dream where you are running, perhaps for your life, and you have to keep running and you wake up exhausted. You were asleep, but you are exhausted from your sleep. That is how worrying wears out the body.

Although people seem awfully busy these days, some people worry because they aren’t busy enough. This tends to occur as we age. There are senior citizen activities, card games, puzzles, crafts, helping children learn to read, volunteering, and numerous other productive things to do with our time. Be selective and proactive! Let’s spend our time exercising our brain and body or having fun with friends and enjoying our lives while we let go of any tendency we have for worry! Nip bad habits in the bud. In the long run, this choice will support your health which is a sign of loving yourself, and there is nothing more important!