“I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happen.”
With the New Year starts new hopes, goals, ideas and the special Epiphany feast day, which is coming up tomorrow. I thought it would be a fitting time to talk about Mark Twain’s quote on anxiety over the future. He makes a point that with our personal history we tend always to see the worst sides, which does tend to upset us with worry. Although worrying has its productive side within our mind; a strong concern that can help you get through some important tasks in your life. In an ongoing trend that we convince ourselves we need to show that we are always happy, we try to wisp away our worry with various distractions. And once we are finally confronted with a situation where we are unable to avoid the object of our worry, we allow ourselves to become completely consumed with that worry. The other unproductive and time-consuming worries magnify the fear that tries to scare us as if we are children. With fear, our sense of danger is heightened and much like a child who enters a strange house any dark space is the terrifying unknown, in which we stare into the deep dark abyss and pray that a strange ghoulish hand will not reach out to grab us. Once the light is brought to such an area, we become far calmer and see less of that dark abyss.
Once the light is shed on the worry, it seems almost silly. So when it comes to worrying about the future, keep your focus on the productive. Make an action plan and write your concerns. With solution based thinking, allow yourself to see what you can and cannot influence. Much like the process of making an excellent wine, we can influence it but cannot fully control the growth of the vine that grows nor the when it will be ripe. There is great patience that must be met with it; love and faith come as the fruit ripens. Not to completely avoid worry nor completely be consumed in its fiery inferno, but rather to let it be. Because if there is one thing evil would like to see, it would be the breaking of happiness that humanity so deeply desires. It is a moment of David versus Goliath. He may be large and dangerous but with a single pebble and the calmness in the soul that wields, it can knock down the largest of giants.
And with this quote, the solution shall be met with another quote by our beloved Saint Francis DeSales, the Prince of Anxiety Beatings:
“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend with them with gentleness and time. ” Saint Francis Desales