“Worry is a waste of energy”

The year was 1984 and Iwas a year out of high school.  Having decided that I was grown up enough to live in my own apartment, (even though I couldn’t really afford it), with a rusty old ugly green sedan for transportation, I muddled through.  Working a part time job and going to school part time, I spent most nights at home eating baked potatoes because they were cheap and filled me up.

During the day, my thoughts were constantly on worrying about what my future would hold.  In fact, I had such a stranglehold on my fear and worry that I would stay up awake at night, millions of thoughts in my head clouding my mind.

Then…just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did.

It was an innocent move.  I had watched my then boyfriend start the engine on his motocross motorcycle plenty of times.  It looked so easy to do it myself.  I hopped up on the motorcycle, grabbed the handlebars and kicked down as hard as I could, expecting the engine to rev up and come to life.

Instead, I felt the crunching of bones, my foot breaking in four places (I wouldn’t know that for sure for quite a while later).  Four surgeries, two years on crutches and lots of pain later, I could finally walk again.

I made adjustments in school, moved into a new place with roommates, found new ways of coping with my situation and even found happiness and joy in what would be such a difficult time.  As the bills piled up from my surgeries, new challenges came up for me to deal with.  Set in my old anxious ways, I got scared.

Really scared.

My mother had been helpful all through this time, and she saw how scared I was.  Looking at me one day she said “Worry is a huge waste of energy and time.  You can only deal with what’s happening right now.  The future hasn’t happened and the past is gone.  So if you stay up at night filled with worry, you’ll just be tired and worried.”

It was a breakthrough moment for me.   That night, I decided that I would deal with my problems in the morning, after a good night’s sleep to clear my head.  I slept blissfully through the night.

Did the problems disappear?  No.  But my attitude changed.

I learned that day that sometimes breakthroughs feel like breakdowns.  Things don’t go the way you planned.  People leave, projects stall, things get messy.  But when you keep trying to do the things that aren’t working, you just make yourself sick.

I’m still having breakthroughs today, as I know you are too.  Lots of great things are happening and in the midst of it all, lots of things are changing, so it sometimes feels messy.   I want you to know that whatever is going on in your life today that seems messy, you are having a breakthrough.    It will all be okay.

Leave a comment and let me know what breakthroughs you’re having…