"We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies.... The things that have to be done must be done, and for the rest we must not allow ourselves to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries, so many motions of no confidence in God." - Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life: the Journal of a Young Jewish Woman via Melissa Bridgman
I've come here to write this several times, only to delete the post, close my computer, and walk away. And then today, I read something that completely changed the post in my mind. Ginny over at Small Things wrote:
"I don't have to worry about things such as where the next meal I feed my children will come from. Those things that do worry me, they are actually signs of the blessings upon us."
I've been full to the brim with worry the last few weeks. Not to worry you, though. None of the worry is really my own. Like Ginny, I don't have to worry about where our next meal comes from. I don't have to worry about much, in fact. Yet . . .
I worry about neighbors who are out of work. Aging members of our extended family and those who take care of them. Other family members who are working around the clock to recover from a fire and rebuild their home. Friends struggling financially. Children living in broken homes. Unhappy marriages (thankfully not my own).
Then my mind leaves my own little corner of the world and finds even more worries - earthquakes, tsunami, tornadoes, civil war, political upheaval, to mention just a few things making the news.
(A little collage I made featuring Lady Gaga lyrics and slave laborers in India. Yes, I've been in a weird place.)
Ginny's words made me reconsider my worried state. I think worry is the wrong word. I think the emotion I'm feeling is care. I care deeply about many people and many things. Up until now, I've been worried, and all that worry has brought me down and gotten me nowhere. All this worry has made it hard for me to come to this space and share pretty pictures and crafty projects.
Worry is a negative emotion. Care is positive.
Worry saps our energy (just like blame). Care fills our heart and lifts our spirit.
Worry makes us ineffective. Care makes us compassionate.
Worry can't help someone in need. Care can.
I'm shedding my worries. They're no good to me or anyone else. Already I feel better. Thanks for caring.