What good has worry done me, or you? Not one damn bit: what’ s coming is coming and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. Sure, you can study books, save money, watch tv shows about what foods to eat (then eat those foods), you can watch the TV news (and go insane), you can vote, get politically active, smell the flowers, meditate, have coffee with friends, have dinner with family; but, nothing is going to change the fact that one morning you’re going to pull up your pants and put your shirt over your head and you are NOT going to repeat the proscess at the end of that same day. Someone else is going to pull them off for you—poof that’s it.
So why worry? I learned this lesson from a someone I read about named Bobby Jo Dennison. He holed up in a local hotel room with his girlfriend or whore or whatever she was. He decided he wasn’t coming out. You think he was worried about retirement, his 401k, or his health insurance? Hell no, he wasn’t worried ’bout nothin’ —his life goes on as carefree as the lilies of the field, or the birds of the air, which Jesus talked about in the New Testament. Now, I don’t plan on threatening to cut off anyone’s toes or wear big jewelry, or my hat on backward, or have a teardrop tattoo, but I can try, just like Bobby Jo (and Jesus) not to worry.
Douggie Jo and Timmy Jo ain’t gonna worry ’bout nothin’ this week, as an experiment. We’ll see what happens.
10 minutes after I posted this we got a call from Doug’s doctor’s office that his PET scan is scheduled for March, 12th…a month to the day after he was laid off. This scan is to look to see the status of whether or not the cancer is gone.
Some people would never admit they are worried. An astute observer, however, can see through their facade. When you have been with the same person for nearly thirty years you just know when something is wrong.
Doug has a very distinct set of three main worry symptoms.
He never has trouble going to sleep; but, when worried wakes up often during the night, can’t go back to sleep, then gets out of the bed very early unable to go back to sleep.
Today is the first day of his cancer treatment to which he has made everyone well aware of the fact that he does NOT need a ride; almost certainly because he doesn’t want to be a bother to anyone else. He also doesn’t want to make a “big deal” out of the cancer treatment because, in his mind, by making a “big deal” out of the situation that the situation will become a “big deal”. I liken his thinking to that of a team of baseball players who, when they are behind in a game, put on their rally caps in order to reverse their fortune.
Whatever gives you faith brother.
He’s belching, belching, belching…then taking some Tums. On the outside he appears completely cool. He would never say, “Oh Tim, I really scared about this treatment today!”
He had the radio news on and I suggested we put on some music instead–Mozart. I would ask him to meditate with me but he would never do that, at least this early in the morning. When it comes to life Doug is just not a coachable person. I’ll just do what I can to keep things calm which in this situation is to do and say as little as possible about the cancer treatment…just pretend it’s just another day, awake at 3:30 am listening to Mozart interspersed with belching.
The way to happiness is: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, give much. Fill your life with love. Do as you would be done by.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Jesus Christ Matthew 6:25-34 New International Version
“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”
― Bruce Lee
“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
The man of wisdom is never of two minds; the man of benevolence never worries; the man of courage is never afraid.
Having just escaped from dreams of destruction and rejection, I inserted myself into a situational self-grieving. There are plenty of things which can smother you in fear (if allowed to), constrict around your neck and tickle the inside of your ears until it becomes a torture. Thoughts rolling over and over again until they’re over cooked as a burnt chicken on a rotisserie, charred with no good meat left to eat. I’ve licked the stamp and sent the letter, the same letter, written over and over again in scrawls and scratches on heavy, linen paper. Words defined and redefined but never redirected: always boomerangs. I keep thinking I can empty the fireplace with a teaspoon.
The fire is out and the gritty edge of morning blackness feigns its death, for I know it will be back to dull the edge of the blade I use while dissecting my sorrows and persecutions. Daylight slithers in, soft gray with an odor of musty basement and rotting leaves. Now that I can see a hundred yards the world begins to collapse in; I find myself in the jaws of a monster, his hot breath comes in waves. I feel the steamy stench through the holes in my gray socks. This is tender time: when the masterpiece of dream becomes painted over by world number two whose colors seem more stark, whose contrast seems more sharp and whose frame is rigid ebony, sharp boundaries which cannot be crossed. I am awake.
I can sum up today in one word: worried. Worried about a call I received from a creditor trying to collect on a medical bill. Worried that my work schedule has changed dramatically, destroying my personal life. I’m so worried that I didn’t even want to eat my lunch. Where do I find consolation? How do I get in this spiral of worry anyway?
Worry has always been the thing I cling to; I suppose because it’s familiar. I haven’t had a lot of joy, or at least I don’t look for it. God forbid that I be ungrateful. I’m really overlooking all the blessings I do have. At a time like this, when I’m about to worry myself into a literal panic I must:
Take deep breaths
Take inventory of what I am grateful for
Use faith to eradicate my worry
I believe it was Edgar Cayce who said “Why worry when you can pray?”; I’ll try a little of that too.