The End is Nigh … of my patience (Or, Thoughts on Worry)

This week, I figured I really needed a T-shirt that read: “Yes, everything is going to be just fine.” It started to feel like everyone was turning to me for comfort and some knowledge of the universe that I’d be able to promise yes, everything would be okay. This is rather ironic since I’m practically the Queen of Worry, and here I was telling other folks not to worry.

What is it with most people that we feel compelled to worry things to death, as though it will make any difference whatsoever? We worry if our work will be well-received, if we’ve said or done the right thing, if it will rain tomorrow, or if the apocalypse will happen in our life-time.

And what does this worry accomplish? Usually it seems to make us sick to our stomachs, paralyzed with fear, or worst of all, prone to creating stress and worry in those around us (leaving them likewise feeling sick with fear, stomach aches, or other stress-related illness). Other than that, the universe does not change. Our worry may affect our sense of well-being, but on the whole, if we worry a bus will run us over tomorrow, or an interplanetary collision will wipe us all out in a moment, it doesn’t make it more likely to happen.

Or does it? Here’s where we enter into the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy. I have heard it suggested that the power of negative thought (i.e.: worry and fear) can be such that we give power

Source: Acobox.com, by Chris Hagerman source Wikimedia license GFDL

to what we most fear by spending time and energy worrying about it, which can therefore cause it to come into being. I suppose all of us have experienced this on some level when we’ve “known” we were going to fail at something, or that a day was “destined” to be lousy, and then we’re proven right. The question, of course, was if we had any effect on the outcome, or if it was mere coincidence. After all, if we look at things in a plain black and white, good or bad scenario, there’s about a 50% chance we’ll be proven right whatever we believe or fear, right?

Of course, if this was true, and fear and worry can bring the very things causing such fear into existence, than the world should have ended eons ago. Men and women have been convinced something was out to get us / destroy us for some time now, and yet, humans remain. Take the latest conviction of some who believed the world was supposed to end in May. If the power of all their belief couldn’t actually bring about the end of the world, than how likely is it that individual fear and worry over smaller or similar events would affect the universe?

Therefore, as I – or you – send your work, intentions, and dreams out into the universe, our fears over negative responses or reactions should mean little when it comes to the eventual outcomes. Our hopes and dreams will live or die on their own merit and our effort, not ephemeral notions like worry and fear.

Of course, it doesn’t mean I didn’t feel a tiny niggle when those with conviction were convinced the world would end. “Would it?” a tiny part of me wondered. “Could I be wrong?” Thus, even when we know better, worry and fear remains insidious. So, whether we believe our fears become material or not, I guess all we can do is live for today, dream for tomorrow, and try to leave the worry to someone else.

Thoughts or comments? How do you conquer worry? Do you believe negative thinking brings about negative consequences? Let me know.

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