We rush about life pushing for better and happier futures. We wonder where our lives will be in a year or in a few years. People who suffer with anxiety worry about the future constantly. It haunts them. It can ruin their day and eat at their insides. It can suffocate them. They forget to live for today. They are too busy worrying about the worst scenarios for tomorrow and so on. It becomes impossible to see the good in the present.
I often worry about the next day, the next month, or even further ahead. Lou and I don’t have children. Most of my nieces and nephews live far away. My younger sister lives in North Carolina and my brother in Tennessee. My older sister and parents live the closet to me. I worry what will happen when Lou and I get old and need extra help. Who will help us if everyone is far away and we have no children? Who will help me out when Lou passes? Will I be alone in a group home or nursing home?
I fear without Lou I will be unable to live on my own. If that’s the case, who will take me in and help me out? Will I end up all alone? My older sister is overworked in their family barn. My one nephew who lives close by works long hours. These worries causes anxiety attacks and fear that rips at my soul. My husband tells me not to think about the future because only God knows what will happen. I can’t help, but wonder about what is ahead of me, yet it only heightens my anguish.
A day or two before Lou and I get paid, I start up with that worrying thing. What if we don’t have enough money to pay our bills? What if we can’t afford groceries this week? What if we don’t have enough money to make it through the week? What will we do? Lou always tells me things will work out and in the end they do.
I often forget to live for today. I try to predict my own future and what I predict is never good. My mind races ahead of me. I forget to focus on the present and this causes inner pain, fear, and sleeplessness. Even when my friend lost her husband, I found myself putting myself in her shoes. I started thinking about what if Lou dies. How would I deal with it? I could see myself being admitted into a mental health ward or being carried away from his casket. I decided I couldn’t live without him and I would just give up living.
Lou said, “Don’t worry about the future. Who knows what will happen? Worry about today, not tomorrow.”
He’s right as usual. When I mulled over his words, I realized part of handling my anxiety is to stop worrying about what hasn’t come. I need to focus on one day at a time. Imagining the future only causes me more anxiety, sadness, and sleeplessness. I need to focus on today and let God handle the future.
Today I have a wonderful and loving husband. Today I have a good job with customers I enjoy seeing. Today I have a dog who greets me with excitement. Today I have wonderful friends who care about me. Today I am happy and strong. Today is all that matters. I must live for today and focus on the good and face the bad one day at a time. I have to leave what the future holds for me in God’s hands. Only he knows what is to come. I must have faith he’ll work everything out for me when the time becomes necessary.
My advice to you is stop looking, worrying, and fearing tomorrow. Take each day as it is and focus on the good within it and face the bad as it comes. Let go of your worries for the future and focus on today. Today is the day you’re going to take the first steps to recovery, toady is the day you will take control of your life, today is the day you will find happiness, and today is your day. Focus on it and live for it. Let God take care of tomorrow and the days ahead. Focus on living for now. Life is too short. Don’t rush; just live for the moment.
I’m working on putting my worries about the future behind me. I’m taking the time to look at the day I’m in and focusing on it as it is. It’s not easy to do. Each time I start to think about what will happen, I remind myself of the moment I am in. Since I’m willing to work on focusing on the present, I bathe in the light.