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Combat Worrying by Staying Present

When future worries creep in, convincing you to take the burden of a thousand tomorrows on your shoulders, fight back against them by staying present.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

-Matthew 6:34

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read this verse, desperately hoping to soak up and apply its truth in my own life.

This morning was one of those times. Once again, I found myself worrying. What will happen next week? In 5 years? In 10 years? What if I can’t do it all? What if it doesn’t work out? What will I do then? What is my plan B, C, D, E, and F? What if, what if, what if?

And doesn’t the verse make it sound so lovely? So simple? Just don’t worry! You don’t need to take that on yourself. Tomorrow will worry about itself!

But…does it?

Does tomorrow really worry about itself?

I don’t think it works that way.

When future worries creep in, convincing you to take the burden of a thousand tomorrows on your shoulders, fight back against them by staying present.

Staying Present

I think the point is that we can only control our right now.

I get to choose how to spend my time right this very minute. I get to decide whether I spit out words of anger or patiently offer whispers of grace today. It is in this moment that I get to pick my course – my actions, my reactions, my thoughts.

Tomorrow is out of my reach. Taking the burden of a thousand tomorrows on your shoulders is enough to crush anyone.  

I could try to plan every detail (which I attempt quite often!) but plans only take me so far. Plans don’t account for the myriad of things outside of my control that send me into a tailspin when they don’t fit into my nice, neat little check boxes.

Staying present gets rid of the multitasking. I only have to focus on my right now. In this instant, what is the best use of my time? My energy? My gifts?

When I’m spending time with family, focus on just them – the connection, the laughter, the experiences.

When I’m focused on work, focus on just that – the discipline, the service, the hard work.

Be wholly present, not just present in body while your mind is in 30 other places.

Can you imagine how that would change your relationships? Your productivity? Your stress level?

Imagine just being able to focus on the task at hand, the people right in front of you, without taking on the burden of making sure everyone and everything will be fine a decade from now.

When you are staying present, there is a much smaller capacity to worry. Sure, there are always things to worry about, but worrying about one day instead of a lifetime (plus some!) is a whole different ballgame.

When your mind starts jumping ahead of your circumstances and delving into the neverending world of what-ifs, reel it back in. Bring it back to where you are right now. 

Stay present.

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