Monday, October 27, 2014

"Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing."

    I absolutely hate it when someone tells me not to worry.  Hate it.  Especially in the past few months or so.  I know they mean well when they tell me, "Don't worry about it."  But do they really know what they're asking me to do?  Here's my personal mental breakdown of how I've been translating "don't worry:"

Worry = Concern
Concern = Caring

Worrying = Caring

And because of this,
"Don't worry about it." = "You shouldn't care." 

    Or at least, that's what I'm hearing when someone tells me not to worry.  Sooo, I shouldn't care?  I should just be indifferent then?  Do you realize how awful this sounds?  Do you even hear yourself right now??  Are you really that insensitive?  That unapologetic?  That much of an uncaring, unconcerned, selfish, cold, emotionless, impassive fill-in-the-blank?!  Do you really expect me to be that way as well?!  Seriously??  My mind then proceeds to go off on an angry tangent of a series of questions and theories as to what could be psychologically wrong with this person who practically told me not to care about something I ought to care about as a normal, functioning human being with a soul.  *breathes*

    Yes, my mind tends to overreact, but you kinda see how I get to this point, right?  I'm not being completely unreasonable, am I?  Again, I realize in all reality that they mean well, but it just comes off so wrong sometimes.  Sometimes it's more hurtful than helpful.
    Today I got a reality check, I've come to the realization of why it comes off so wrong.  It's because I have forgotten that I can still be caring without the worry and that the act of worrying itself doesn't solve anything or make me care more than I already do.  Sometimes worry is necessary or important to motivate one into action or to cause change, but when no action or change can be made what's the point of worrying?  Not worrying doesn't necessarily make me any less caring, either.  The sermon at my friend's Methodist Church I visited this past Sunday reminded me of all of this.  It reminded me of what I had forgotten because I let my worry run off with my emotions.  My mind focused and zeroed in on the people and things caused me to worry in the first place so much that I was unable to control or rationalize how much I let myself worry.  Then I got angry, frustrated and hurt, either because I felt as if no one understood why I worried so much or because they didn't seem to understand or care why I felt they like they were the ones that caused me to worry (if it was people that caused me to worry to begin with).  And that just made things so much worse.
    Learning these lessons will not necessarily create instantaneous changes in me, I am aware of this fact.  Nor does this mean that I will not have to learn these lessons again in my lifetime.  But it's given me some ideas and guidelines as to where and how to start making changes in my life to where I can more appropriately worry less without feeling like I'm loosing any part of my sense of empathy.

    Also, typing in "worry" or "worry quotes" into Google Image Search and reading what comes up is a great help too!

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