Something to Worry About?
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I am a constant worrier. I worry about everything and I know it. Everyone tells me to chill out but I can't. The problem is, I always feel if I don't worry and something bad happens, I will feel guilty forever more that I wasn't worried enough. Now I'm pregnant and am obsessing about what may go wrong. But if I don't worry, doesn't that mean I don't care? I am in therapy, but do you have any Jewish strategies for me to get out of this cycle?
There is wonderful old Yiddish proverb, which is also said to be an ancient Chinese proverb, and a more recent Indonesian proverb, sometimes attributed to Winston Churchill, Socrates or Dr Seuss:
"There are two things you should never worry about. One is something that you can't help, because you can't help it. The other is something you can help, because you can help it."
Some matters are simply out of your hands. Life and death, weather patterns and parking availability are G-d's domain, not yours. Worrying about these is not just pointless, it prevents you from achieving in the areas where your efforts are needed. The precious energy wasted on being anxious would be better saved for more important pursuits.
An expecting mother's frame of mind has a direct impact on her unborn child. Your positive thoughts and trust in G-d are as vital for your baby as pre-natal vitamin supplements and pregnancy pilates. Worrying, even with good intentions, is not really caring for yourself or your baby.
When something worries you, meditate on this question: Is there anything I can do about this, or do I need to leave up to G-d? Is it my business or His business? If it's mine I need not worry, I need to do something. If it's His, I need not worry, He knows what He's doing.
Worrying is no more than a useless diversion from your real mission. Don't get lost in it. Those Yiddish Chinese Indonesians were right, leave G-d to do His job, and you do yours.