As hard as I try, I move through phases quicker than I can keep track of. Recently, I have been challenging myself to forget about worry. Like I read the other day, “Worry is like rocking in a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” I know this and have struggled with worry, especially about the future or things out of my control, my entire life. I think for the most part, worry is natural, yet recently I feel like it has really masked other issues and emotions in my life.
So several weeks ago, I gave it up. I just decided to trust God, enjoy my relationships, and focus on one thing at a time in my education and job. The problem with my self-imposed focus change is that it isn’t natural for me. When I am legitimately not worrying, it is awesome. I feel happier, more relaxed, etc. Shouldn’t I want to be like this all the time? Trusting God and just enjoying my life?
Yes, I should. Yet try as I might, it always comes back to bite me. I suddenly find all those questions about my life hitting me at once out of nowhere. All of a sudden, I am torn up inside and lost in my own thoughts about my decisions, my relationships, my future–all things that I (mostly) do not have control over. I cannot worry about what I will do after grad school, which is over a year and a half away. I cannot worry about where my relationships will be in two years. Or where I will live. Or what I will have. I know all this, and I do trust God to work everything out. So where does my worry come from?
In reflecting on this, I think it comes from my needs. We have different types of need. One is our basic survival needs–food, water, home, etc. These are all satisfied for me, and I do not worry about them. I am more fortunate than many in this way.
Another type of need is relationships. And then within relationships, everyone has different needs. Some need to be in control. Some need to be led. Some need to be attached at the hip. Some need endless space. Even after all the relationships I’ve had (family, friends, boyfriends) I find that I am still figuring out what my relationship needs are.
So the answer to my question, “Why am I freaking out when everything is going so well in my life?” is “because not quite all of your needs are being filled.” The Christian response to this is, of course, that God can fill all your needs. And he can of course. But we are human and there are some things on earth that we just need to make it through. And recently I have completely underestimated the importance of being honest about my needs, and diligent about learning what others’ are as well. Time to make some lists…