This last month, my 6 year old took a trip to the fire station. A couple days ago he prayed for no fires. I recognized the anxiety in his prayer right away. When he said ‘amen,’ I asked him if he was feeling worried about a fire. Of course, he said yes. We talked about what he can control with his worry — or anxiety.
We can control having a fire safety plan, we have working smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher – but we can’t control the future.
We can’t control whether there is a fire of unforeseen nature. But what we can do – is be prepared.
Once we are prepared – we don’t have to worry because we did our part.
I know this is easier said than done, but my hope is teaching and practicing this early will help him as he gets older and his anxiety gets harder to manage.
Last year, I was ready to have a baby I planned on having. I took the pregnancy test and with a positive – I started planning what Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas would look like. I had it all drawn up in my head.
But then – the ball was taken out of my court. My control was taken away. I miscarried. There would be no Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas with a third little baby that year.
You can chalk this up to your belief system.
I didn’t have to hand it over, it was already taken. But I did have to SURRENDER.
In this episode of Happiness in Progress, I talk about what surrender is and how to get there.
In “The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It,” Dr. David Carbonell writes you should ask yourself these two questions:
- Is there a problem that exists now in the external world around you?
- If there is, is there something you can do to change it now?
If you answered no or maybe to either… you cannot control this problem. Either it doesn’t exist, or it is not within your power to control.
Did you answer yes to both of those? If you did – then you have a problem you can solve! Yes, control!
Letting go of the burden of trying to control what we can’t… can exchange pain for peace, fear with facts and anxiety for confidence.
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