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News for September 2013


Recently, I received some news that has left me troubled. There are two problems with this. The first is that worrying is a useless and wasted emotion. The second problem is that at this point there is no confirmation of the problem.

The doctors require more information before they can say it is a problem. The reason is that what they are seeing may be pre-existing and not a new or worsening problem. It may just be status quo.

Let us look at both problems one at a time.

The first problem is worrying about the situation at all. No amount of worrying about a problem will correct the problem. If you worry a little, a lot or not at all it will affect things in the same manner. The effect will be nothing.  It reminds me of something that the Dalai Lama once said, and I am paraphrasing, if you have a problem but no solution exists there, is no reason to worry and if you have a problem and a solution does exist there is no reason to worry.

If a solution exists, what do you gain through worrying? Enact the solution and the problem will go away. If there is no solution, not all the worrying in the world will make the problem go away and you have a great opportunity to use the skill of radical acceptance.

The second problem is that right now there is no confirmed problem. I am “borrowing trouble”, or in other words, I am creating a problem where one does not yet exist. We all have enough real problems, stress, and difficulties and flat out drama that we need to deal with every day that we do not need to make up new ones that are not there. Besides the universe will kindly provide you with real things to deal with if you really feel the need for more problems.

Worrying about problems that do not exist wastes valuable time and energy. There is a discipline called risk management in which you identify, categorize and provide a plan for how you will deal with a possible risk.

For example, if you live in hurricane alley, you know there is a high risk that a storm a hurricane will hit during certain months. You would come up with a plan on how to mitigate the risk as if you cannot mitigate it; how you would, deal with it is it happens. The plan might include having a bag packed fit each member of you household, including your pets, in case you need to evacuate. It may also include making sure you have enough canned goods, batteries, after, etc on hand in case you lose power.

Once you have the plan in place, you do not worry about it anymore. You do not sit there worrying that maybe a hurricane will hit this weekend especially if there is no tropical activity.

I joke at times, I might walk out my front door and are hit by a meteor, but you know what, I am not going to worry about it actually happening. I could be hit by a car walking across the street, again I am not going to worry about it and assume it will happen. I will make sure I am careful crossing the start though. If I worried about everything that could happen, I would be paralyzed with fear and never move.

I need to try to live my life and only deal with actual problems that exist without making up be ones.


Edited: September 11th, 2013


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