During a friends get-togther one of our group announced, 'I just received the best advice for reducing wrinkles.' Rapt attenton for this magic formula. She smiled and said 'throw away the magnifying glass.' Heads nodded in agreement. We are all at an age where, without help, wrinkles are part of our lives. But, hey, why make them bigger, deeper and more important than they are?
The same advice applies to so many things we worry about. Going on a trip, we worry - the boat will sink, we'll get detained at the airport, we'll get food poisoning, our luggage will get lost. We dig into these worries. We can't let them go. And so they expand. They exhaust our happy anticipation. Murphy's Law keeps jangling in our ears.
It seems most humans are hard-wired to worry. We're really good at it. It takes its toll. How do we stop or slow down the worry-wart syndrome? How do we stop magnifying the blips and blemishes in our lives? Two things I learned that have stuck. One is a rhyme: Never worry worry 'til worry worries you - it only doubles worry and worries others too." In other words, don't go looking for problems. The other is trust - trust that short of a rare catastrophy, we can handle most adversities that come our way. And trust the law of averages - most of the things we worry about never come to pass.
Mark Twain, an admitted worrier, told us in his later years : "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. Worrying is like payng a debt you didn't owe. I spent most of my life worrying about things that never happened."
Magnifying glass or eraser? Both work, depending on how they are used.
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