Why Is It So Hard to Take Our Own Advice?

By: Jeanne Reynolds

worry

I’m writing this on Saturday as Hurricane Matthew churns up the coast with nothing in my stomach but black coffee and a big ole knot of anxiety.

Columbia appears to have escaped relatively unscathed, but our beautiful weekends-for-now-retirement-for-later home on Cat Island near Beaufort (see previous post) sits right at the point of landfall. Our neighbors sensibly fled days ago, and without power or internet service, our security cameras are down. So we’re left literally in the dark, wondering and waiting to see if or how much damage there is.

The common sense advice I’d give anyone else in this situation is there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it right now, so it’s pointless to worry. We’re well insured — including flood insurance — and there’s nothing in or around the home that can’t be rebuilt or replaced. And we’re fortunate to have savings to cover those pesky deductibles. The important thing is we’re all safe, right?

Easier said than done. No matter what we advise others, it’s so hard not to worry. It seems almost irresponsible not to worry a little, as if I don’t care or live in some bubble disconnected from reality. Maybe worrying will somehow prevent the worst from happening, like paying a proactive penance.

Well, wrong. My page-a-day devotional includes many passages about letting go and letting God. If fact, it goes even further, saying worry is a sin because it’s an act of disbelief. Wow, and I thought that extra glass of wine and a little occasional gossip were my biggest vices. Clearly, I have some serious work to do.

And like so many parts of my life, it’s a work constantly in progress. I really don’t think there’s a “cure” for worrying — it’s more of a day-by-day, incident-by-incident, conscious choice. If you have tips that’ve helped you, I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile, I’ll keep taking two steps forward, one step back.

But I’m trying not to worry about it.

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