There are, of course, things that we should be concerned about. In those cases we need to use the energy that we might put into worry, to do something about the problem. We might find that we are fretting about something over which we have no control. In that case, we need to do spiritual work, since the worry, far from helping the situation, is putting us into a negative spiritual state.
The word “worry” is related to the word “wring” as in: “I will wring your neck.” It involves the idea of twisting. When we worry we might experience our stomach all twisted up in a knot. We might feel that we are being noble about taking on the problems of the world, but often it is really a form of self-indulgence. We might even take pride in obsessing with problems that are out of our control.
In one of Byron Katie’s books there is the story of a woman whose life was dominated by worry. It turned out to be concern for the plight of the polar bears due to climate change. It is an extreme case and is useful in highlighting the fact that it is possible for a person’s life to be distorted by worry of a very unhealthy kind.
The opposite of worry is trust – especially trust in God. Jesus talked about this suggesting that people take no thought for the morrow. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:34 KJV)
Modern translations are truer to the Greek. Here are two of them:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” NIV
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.” RSV
It is interesting that Jesus tells us not to worry about the future.
This is quite challenge since much, if not most, of our concerns are about things that have not yet happened. It takes work to counter this human tendency. The reward for doing so is peace of mind.
If you find it hard to let go of the worry, see if you can do anything positive about the things you are worrying about, and put your energy there.
Task #23 – Not Worrying
When you notice yourself worrying, let go of the body tensions produced by the worry. Relax. Then change the negative thinking that supports the worry. Let go of the worry.
This essay written by Frank S. Rose