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Worry Lines

“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever” – Mahatma Gandhi

There was a time when I worried about absolutely everything. I worried about what other people thought.  how I was going to pay my bills, and even how I looked..  I even worried about how much I worried.  

Worry requires us to look ahead or look back. For example: I looked to the future in order to  worry about how to pay the bills. The flip side of that is that I looked back in order to worry whether I did this or that correctly.  As I looked back and obsessed, then looked forward and fretted, the moments that made up my a life were passing me by.The stress showed on my face in the scrunched up little ‘V’ between my eyes. Instead of building memories, I was building worry-lines. I grew to hate that little ‘V’ and caught myself avoiding mirrors so I wouldn’t see it. I remember looking in my rear-view mirror as I drove to a job I hated, to support a family I longed to be with but rarely saw, in a car I worried about paying for, only to see my scrunched up face that made me wonder, “What happened to me?” 
God speaks to us. He speaks to us in many ways: Through meditation, other people, our own feelings, and the signs He sends us.  I was very much like Jim Carey’s character in ‘Bruce Almighty’ when he’s driving down the road yelling, “God just give me a sign!” and he drives right past them.I was warned by others to  “just let it go” . I was warned by meditating on the word of God to ‘Be as of the lilies of the field.”  I was warned by my own feelings that I was putting my life force into something that did not feel right to me. In fact, it felt like I was drowning. I didn’t heed those warnings.  I continued to worry and work so hard to keep up a life that no one person could support. Finally, negative energy and a depleted soul eventually took it’s toll on me and nearly killed me.I used to read articles just like this one and roll my eyes. and say, ‘It can’t be that easy!’ I  kept pushing the limits of my body, mind, and soul. It wasn’t until I suffered a life threatening illness that I examined myself more closely in the ‘mirrors’ I tried so hard to avoid. Not because I wanted to, but because I no longer had a choice.

Looking back I saw that I was often distracted and distressed when I should have been paying attention to the right now. I should have been savouring the moments. I should have trusted others to help me. Above all, I should have trusted God to take care of many things I tried so hard to control. My analytical mind, a certain prideful stubborn streak, and a lack of concern for myself that I just loved to dress up as ‘self-sacrifice’ replaced trust with the worry that consumed me.

 I considered myself a ‘Christian’ but I had not surrendered my soul to God. I resisted. I saved a big piece of my soul for me and took out the little piece for God on Sunday Mornings. I’m ashamed to say that in an effort to keep ‘control’ of the impossible schedule and life I had built, I saw acupuncturists, herbalists, preachers, monks, trainers, doctors, psychiatrists, and anyone that I thought had the ‘knowledge’ to help me. The problem was that I still wanted to do everything myself, do it well, and suffer no consequences. So of course none of them had that power to help me. Only when I asked the right question did I find the right answer. The right question was: ‘How do I find peace?’ I’m glad to say that when I finally said, “God, you are in control. I am not and never have been. I don’t want to be in control anymore. I want to surrender to your will and do it gracefully. Please help me.’ did my life get better. I saw the multitude of signs that God was sending me. my life made a wonderful 180 degree turn toward grace. I began to know peace for the first time. Subsequently, my health improved, my relationships blossomed,and  finally life became peaceful. My heart was so full of joy that there was no room for worry. Oh, and that little ‘V’ that was etched in stone on my face is now only visible when I squint to see it.How do your worries manifest themselves?