Just for today, I am not going to worry.

Padraig finds a home

A few years ago a stray cat, yet another, found its’ way to our door. He was skinny and had flees but was sweet …had obviously been around people. It isn’t even a choice with me whether or not I feed a hungry animal or person…if they show up on my doorstep hungry, they are getting fed. But I instantly started worrying about what to do with him after that.

We already had 6 cats and I knew that we could not take in another. The shelters were not accepting cats either. I had Jack take this photo so we could sent it to friends who might be considering getting a cat….we got replies telling us how cute he was but no takers. After spending several days wrestling with this dilemma (worrying), something happened. Somewhere deep inside of me a voice said, “Just do the right thing for today and do not project into the future”. I felt a wave of peace. I knew what to do in that day: make a box with towels in it, put a heating pad inside, hook it up in our open garage and give him a home…for today.

Our experience with “Padraig” unfolded that way. I “forced” my mind to stay in the day with him. When I found myself worrying about finding him a home, I would say, “For today he has food, shelter and love. Everything is fine.” And it felt fine. When I stopped worrying, I really started enjoying my time with him. He wasn’t even afraid of Luke (our huge dog)…he was a very unusual little guy. Within a few weeks, we easily found him a home, and he happily went with them.

So many of the things that I find myself worrying over …no, everything that I worry about, when I really break it down, is fear of some future “event” involving myself or someone I care about: Fear that we won’t get something that we want, or will get something that we don’t want. I can’t make good decisions in that state of mind…everything looks bleak when I am afraid…life loses it’s joy. I feel alone and helpless.

I forget that I am not alone …that there is a huge power, a universal spirit, working on behalf of all things including me, my sons, and stray cats! There is always a solution to every “problem” that I think I might have. I wonder how I can, at times, forget this? …maybe it’s the human condition, but as humans we are also given the capacity to think and choose…today I choose not to worry…it is going to be a very good day!

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.  ~Mark Twain

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18 thoughts on “Just for today, I am not going to worry.

  1. Mary todays words were golden. My sons tell me I worry for a living. … You are so right, when you can let it go, it does take care of itself. I have exhausted myself with needless worry. I am going to print todays log and post it at home and at work. Sometimes I feel as if your blog was created just for me. You are helping to change my life and point me towards a new direction. Thank-you for you honesty and humor.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I too am a worry wart. I think it comes from my need to take care of all problems, so I feel like I must look ahead to be prepared for them. I really don’t want to fear today or tomorrow. I’m wasting my life.
    So I will quote you in my mind often

    “today I choose not to worry…it is going to be a very good day!”

  3. Wonderful thoughts for the day Mary…I think I will try it and not worry today either…tomorrow maybe, but not today!

  4. I agree, its one of the first things I learned from Bhante………..nothing is forever……
    or to quote Alfred E Newman, ‘what! me worry?

  5. Mary — I have been reading your blog because of Jon Katz and his stories about you….and I love what you write. Today’s resonated so much with me, and I wondered to myself, “is it possible not to worry about this problem I have worried myself numb about?” You see, we are a retired couple, and my husband’s pension is from his many years of teaching. But he and I are also 15 years apart in age, and since his pension will STOP when he dies, I worry all the time about what that will mean for me. We have small savings, but not nearly enough for me to live on…..and though I still work very part-time, it would not nearly be enough. Nor, as I get older and older, could I work! So, I read your words, and thought that perhaps I could try and not worry,,,,is it possible to do so, is it possible that something would present itself in the future to ease my situation…..I am going to see if I can do this. It sure won’t be easy…but is is worth trying, I think.

  6. Mary,
    Your comment today is SO relevant to me, and judging by the responding comments, relevant to others as well. When I was born, the motto my family gave to me to live by was, “No matter how happy you are, beware the boogeyman lurking just around the corner.” So there you are…and that ruled me for all my life. I am trying hard to turn that around. So far, I am managing baby steps toward my release, and your blog today was so spot-on. Thanks for your daily contributions! All of your readers appreciate you so.

  7. Felt a weight lift from me with this blog. I too love cats and strays find their way here. They get fed regardless of the city ordinance, as does the possum. Have found homes for some, know how challenging that is. But, from now on, just for today I will provide a basket with a blanket and food. And the worrying….about them and so many other issues. Have named my night nemesis who wakes me “Brunhilda.” She may have some things to say that I need to hear, mostly not. They are exagerrated and distorted at 3 a.m. I will tell her from now on that I will “discuss” these things with her later and try to get more sleep. I print your posts and keep them in a folder to read and reread. They ALL speak to me, you are a gift.

  8. FEAR stands for “Future Events Aren’t Real.” If you “FROG,” “Fully Rely on God,” you won’t be fearful.

  9. Yesterday I sat on a bluff overlooking our small boat harbor watching Mother Nature in her most raw form. Tsunami waves had traveled 5,000 miles across the ocean and those same waves surged onto our coast, tearing out docks and pilings, tossing boats large and small like TinkerToys from my childhood.
    Worry and fear (those universal twins) were tangible among everyone around me. Yet we were thankfully safe—and it was at that THANKFUL pause, when I realized that to remain in the present moment, giving thanks and prayers, pushed fear out of the picture. My lesson on a grand scale!

  10. Lovely about Padraig. I’m glad he found a temporary home with you.

    I saw a cat, beautiful Maine Coon across the street from my house. I said hello to it, asked if it had a home. Then the cat vanished. I’m hoping to treat it, should it appear again. I’ve not seen it any other time.

  11. Oh, my. Didn’t even get to this until today due to worrying about everything I had (but now I see….wanted) to get done yesterday!! (In my defense it does involve sick family members). This is a wonderful and stupendous way to approach life’s everyday events and keep sane people sane. You are, as Sally says, a gift! Simply put, thank you. Makes today’s list so much shorter!

  12. Hi Mary
    Love the quote from Mark twain. When I remember it!
    My worry for my daughter is that she wont find the right man.
    Are either of your sons looking for the right woman.?
    Matchmaking mother.

  13. I’ve been concerned about a presentation I am supposed to make next week. Hope sent me this link…. so just for today, I won’t worry. Thank you.

  14. I just discovered your blog. Thank you for your reminder that worry is about fear. And fear is so in the future. This is a pattern I have struggled with and know that when I am “Conscious” and trying to stay in “the Moment”, there is no space for fear–our greatest enemy.

    And thank you too for the reminder that “we are not alone.”
    Maybe remembering this is the solution to banishing our fear, knowing that there is always a source of love there wanting to help and support and guide us. Why is it so hard for us to hold on to this and act from it?

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