She was a worrier.
She worried about her kids. She worried about her husband. She worried about her parents. She worried about her grandchildren. She worried about her work. She worried about money. She worried about the upcoming social functions. She worried about the political climate. She worried about her and her family’s safety. She worried. About this. About that. About many, many things.
The interesting thing is, the vast majority of things about which she worried never came to pass.
Let me back up here a moment. The last couple weeks, I’ve sent you some messages about Stella. If Stella was still alive, she would have just turned 98 years old last week. She passed away the week before that.
Stella is a woman who has had a tremendous impact on my life. I remember when I first met her, probably about 15 years ago, and I remember sharing with her a little bit about myself, my upbringing, my family, my story… One of those details is that my mom was never a true mother to me. She was extremely physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive to me and my siblings growing up. I remember when Stella heard about this, and she said in her thick Greek accent, “Honey, I will be your mama.”
And she was. And what I will always be thankful for is that Stella gave me a second chance to really love a mother.
She had such a beautiful soul and such big heart for so many people. And yet (or maybe because of that), she worried. About everything! I think Greeks are similar to Italians in that way (if you didn’t know, I grew up in a very Italian household, and the expression, “worry yourself sick” is very accurate). I think Greeks might even take it another step and “worry themselves to death.” (I say that with all love in my heart – my closest friend is Stella’s son, Harry – very, very Greek! I know he would agree with me.)
Yet, what came of all of Stella’s worrying? Well, she felt it – she felt the emotions of worry and stress and anxiety. But did the things that she worried about actually happen in her life or in the world? Mostly, no! Yet her programming kept her in that zone of worry.
I share this with you because I think we would all do well to take a lesson from this. What does worrying ever accomplish? It certainly never accomplishes anything positive. And I believe I speak accurately when I say that what Stella experienced, in that she worried about things that never happened, is the common occurrence for the vast majority of all of us.
Of all the things that you have worried about, how many of them have actually happened? And of those things that did happen, were you able to make it through alright to the other side? Did you worrying about it help you in any way?
Now I know there are things that very naturally cause stress and worry and heartache, and I’m not downplaying that at all. When a family member or a close friend is diagnosed with, or suffering from a severe illness, that is tough to deal with and to keep a positive outlook. But I’m not really talking about those specific, more intense situations here – that’s a different topic. I really mean the “day-to-day” worrying that so many of us allow to dominate our thoughts.
I would ask you, how has worrying ever helped you?
It’s your choice, whether you worry or not. Worrying is simply a projection into the future of a negative scenario. You don’t know if it’s going to happen or not. And like I’ve said, most of the time, that which you’re worrying about never takes place.
So, when those worrisome thoughts arise, let me encourage you to take a journal and jot them down. Just the act of writing it down helps to separate the thought from your own identity and your own being. It helps you to see yourself as separate from that worry.
And then you get to make a decision. Do you want to keep thinking that thought, which is causing any number of negative emotions to be experienced in your mind and your body? Or do you want to choose a new thought – an empowering thought, a positive thought, a thought that will motivate you and excite you about the future?
The choice is yours.
I believe in you and I believe in your dream!!
Hold Your Image!!
We were born to BE, DO and HAVE more.