“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
(Matthew 6: 26, 6:27, 6:34)
I just wanted to share this with you as it was on my mind. This is the only bible quote I know and I have found much comfort in its wise words over the years. Today it is on my mind because my daughter went back to school after the long summer holidays and she was worried. Worried about the challenges she faces with some of her ‘friendships’, worried about the work being too hard. She worries about everything and she’s only 9 and it breaks my heart.
The thing about children is that even though they may be made up of parts of you and parts of your partner, they are their own unique beings. They may look like their Dad and act like their Mum (or vice versa) but at the end of the day they are themselves, no-one else, and as such as a parent you have no real control over how they feel and how they react to different situations, you can only guide them.
My daughter is very special. She’s a clever little thing which has the advantage of making learning easier for her, but it also means she has quite an adult head on her shoulders at times. I don’t remember worrying when I was 9, not like she does. I want so much for her to enjoy this time in her life with a light heart and a carefree approach and not to worry about everything.
I bought her a book when she was about 6 (she was already a worrier back then!) called “The Huge Bag of Worries” (by Virginia Ironside) in order to help her with all the worries that she had on her mind. It is a lovely little story about not bottling things up but letting them out and that by letting them out they get smaller. I think it helped a little at the time but my daughter DOES talk to me about everything but the worries don’t seem to get smaller, as much as I try to help. She has that adult problem of “overthinking” situations. I am guilty of this too at times but I try very hard NOT to do this as I know it serves no purpose and ultimately changes nothing.
In any case, I hope that by going to school today and facing her worries head on (after mulling things over for far too long over the holidays!) she will see that she had nothing to worry about after all! If not, I will continue to guide her in the right direction and offer my words of wisdom and hope that, even if she is unable to use my advice at this stage in her life, that hopefully she will keep hold of it and put it to good use at some point during the rest of her journey.
At the end of the day, I know that she has to learn her own lessons and make her own mistakes which is difficult to watch as a parent. But why worry about tomorrow? For, as the very wise Eckhart Tolle would say,
“All there is, is now.”