Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
but only saps today of its strength.
A. J. Cronin, Scottish physician and novelist;
he was born on this day, 1896, in Cardross,
Worry is, I think, a consequence - self or other-inflicted - of the failure to grasp one’s own power . It is also a way of refusing or of being unable to live with the Truth. I remember all the times in my Life that I refused to see what was right in front of my face, or was overcome by the conviction that things were not right and there was nothing I could do about it.
But, I was blessed enough to have stumbled my way to an inner path that would lead to both some courage to see the Truth and to a willingness to trust myself ….. and to take risks, in trust. I left my homeland and family at age twenty-one in pursuit of “holiness” ….. though I didn’t consciously know that was what I was doing at the time. Over the course of forty years, there would be three times that I looked the Truth in the face and knew only I could take responsibility and do something about it ….. and that the health of my soul depended on it. As I look back, the positive far outweighed the negative.
We need teachers! Teachers in how to face Truth, especially about ourselves. Teachers who not only show us the importance of examining our lives, but leave us our freedom and integrity to make our own choices. That is why I have always loved the story of the encounter between Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler. Or when Jesus tells His disciples that they can leave Him if they wish. They all had to have sensed, however fearfully, their power. And I know what a freeing thing that is. Many might think that it frees one to be irresponsible. I have found the opposite to be true: it freed me to want to be a person of integrity.
“Worry” derives from the Middle English “werien”, and the Old English “wyrgan”, to strangle. Worry does strangle our Life Force.
If you find yourself succumbing to Worry, I would say that this is a sign that you have forgotten who you are. You are a person in whom dwells the Living God, the completing “Christ”, the Spirit who reshapes and makes new. Life always has its sorrows and worry does not banish them; rather the reverse. I am glad that Cronin has reminded me that I have power to stare down what is false, exile those demons, and live every day as strongly as I can.
We all do. And each of us is hopefully an instrument of this strength for each other.