Friday, February 11, 2011

Practicing for horrible things...

…doesn’t work.

You can spend years of your life worrying about someday.

You can image how you will feel…you can grieve…you can mourn…you can wake up at night with your face covered in tears from dreams that feel so real you feel certain they are the truth.


Your heart hurts because you are so convinced about what is sure to occur and how the pain will feel.

When you get caught up in practicing for horrible things, it’s hard to remember that it is only your imagination and fear creating the scenario and the emotion, and that imagination is not reality.

Practicing for horrible things not only doesn’t work, it robs you.

It robs you of small joys missed while you are grieving something that has not yet occurred.

It robs you of missed moments while you are hiding your face in fear for a future you are certain is predestined.

It robs you of the ability to embrace hope…and possibility…and optimism.

And then when the bad thing finally occurs that you have spent so much time imagining, you tell yourself, “Aha! I am ready! I am prepared! I know what to do because I’ve already been here a hundred or more times in my mind! I know what this is going to feel like!”

But it doesn’t always feel like that.

And you’ve spent so much time on your mantra of maybe that you have been unable to…

…see a perfect sunset because your eyes were dimmed by copious tears, or missed a special smile on the face of a loved one because your heart was turned inward to suffering you were certain was coming.

‘To everything there is a season…”

The season for now is now…right now…

Don’t let your fears and worries and practicing for horrible things, take you to the place where you have lost the ability to sing a song, feel a joy, or give a hug that starts down at the very tip of your toes.

Practicing for horrible things is the worst kind of practicing…


…for often when the horrible thing occurs you aren’t ready anyway,

You stand confused and amazed and stunned at what is going on…

…and all that practice was for naught.

‘To everything there is a season…’

Live the season of now.

Practicing for horrible things is nothing but a way to have a broken heart for a lot longer than might be necessary.

Practice kindness. Practice the piano. Practice making the world shine just a bit brighter in the place you are.

Just don’t waste any more of your time practicing for horrible things.

post signature

39 comments:

Paula ~ castleandcottagesigns said...

A very good piece of advice! I am quite vulnerable to 'practicing for terrible things', I need to stop! Life is just toooo short:)

Susannah said...

Wonderful and Wise. Great post Jenny.

Jocelyn said...

Ok.....YOU WERE HERE TO POST THIS....today...because this is just what I have been doing...it has taken over my life...I am in a constant states of panic and yes....losing days of happiness for something that might be!!!

Thank you Jenny from the bottom of my heart....it is tough here right now and I feel like I am in quicksand!!! But here you are...uplifting me...I am going to promise myself today...that I will live for today!!!

God Bless your heart!!!

Terra said...

Ahhhhhhhh. Um, let's see. Clearly we all do this some, worrying, wondering - trying to predict the future...when it is simply about ourselves it is easier to push it aside and let it go, when it involves loved ones it seems to be a much more difficult process, a much scarier outcome could loom and well...practicing for horrible is not something that is easy to let go of in those cases.

Most excellent post miss jenny - I am certain this will strike a chord with many...

J. Kwiatkowski said...

Good advice. I am a practicer, shamefully, but I try to take most of those thoughts and channel them into my painting and stories. And weirdly, my weird art has helped me connect with people and put horrible thoughts away.

ImagiMeri said...

Hello dearest,

Ah great, now I really don't have anything to do!!!!!!!!! You better come visit me. Bring the girls, it's all good.

Love ya'
Meri

La said...

Thanks, Jenny. I catch myself doing this very thing.

Theresa said...

Great advice! Thanks my friend! HUGS!

La Petite Gallery said...

Oh Jenny, You are so right.
Love the way you said it.
Yvonne

Donnie said...

It's hard not to think the worst first with all that is on the news now. It has always been on the news before but we weren't sitting in front of a TV or computer all the time then. Saturation equals fear. This was a very good post.

Kat said...

Beautifully stated Jenny. I think so many women do this, especially when they have children. How many nights have we stood over a crib to make sure the baby was breathing. Instead of standing over the crib and rejoicing in the miracle that lies there. Great advice. Hugs, Kat

Christy said...

oh Jenny this was so beautifully written. thank you for sharing this advice!

Jeanie said...

Very thoughtful advice, Jenny, and such a positive way of looking at life. I hope I am wise enough to bring it to mind when worry tries to take over.

Ames said...

Oh Jenny you are so right. I think we plan survival because we do love life and we do love our loved ones and want to make sure they too survive with us. But you are so right. Being fraught with worry robs us of that precious time we do have with our loved ones. Excellent advice. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of that song ..."Don't Worry...Be Happy" ~~Ames

5thsister said...

You spoke to my heart today, dear Jenny. Thank you for the reminder. Love you!

Mañana Mama said...

Sound advice, and so very well put! It's always such a pleasure to read your blog. Which is why I've mentioned you in a recent post: http://www.manana-mama.com/2011/02/flying-in-thunderstorms.html

Leslie Morgan said...

My uneducated but very wise Grandpa used to say, "Don't borrow trouble, Honey."

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I did that a lot as a young woman, but I guess after life kicks you in the butt a few times, you learn to enjoy the good things and muddle through the bad...

lovely thought to start my day, Jenny!

Thanks for all you do!!!!

xxoo,

RMW

Judie said...

Duct tape. Don't forget the duct tape. Now you can relax.

Sandy said...

Oh Jenny,
We are so alike.....this is the one thing I have to work on ALWAYS....my mind automatically goes to these thoughts and I have to literally see myself in my mind putting up a STOP sign, warding the thought away.....I am getting better.....I hope you and yours are OK.......

Jessica B said...

This is really a great piece of advice...

Bonnie said...

So true Jenny. Through my husbands illnesses I have often rehearsed the worst case scenario. I try not to but my mind would often and still does sometimes to that terrible place. You are so right.. it may never happen and you miss out on the now. Or if it does happen you are probably still not ready.

fredamans said...

Amen!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is beautifully put Jenny.
I just want to know...how have YOU gotten inside my lil' head?
I will heed this advice today. And tomorrow. And the next.....

xoxooxxo

Sue said...

I love this! "Practicing for horrible things...'

Doesn't make much sense, does it?

You are one very wise woman. And this is a really good post.

=)

Mumsy, Chancy and Company said...

Absolutely wonderful advice. I have often thought I knew how I would react when something happened in the future only to find when it occurred I did not respond at all like I thought I would. Great post sweet Jenny. It is much better to live in the now and let the future take care of itself. Hugs

Diane said...

Very wise words. I am constantly battling with myself over my worries and I know well enough that things are going to happen or not going to happen as they may whether I worry about them or not.

Shay said...

I'm guilting of practicing for terrible things a lot.

I love the way you wrote this post. It's inspired me to try to change my thinking.

the vintage daisy ♥ said...

Thank you for writing this! This is exactly what I have been going through for weeks now. I attended my brother-in-laws funeral during the first week of January and now that I am back home, I keep thinking "what if" something happens to my Mother? I keep thinking I need to be prepared and then I would be able to deal with it better. Now after reading your post, I can tell this is not the thing to do. I will deal with things "as they come" and not before!
p.s. I love your blog ! My blog is fairly new but I have been blogging for years and decided to open up my own decorating blog and leave the other blogs behind :)

Country Dreaming said...

Super great post!
Food for thought.
You make me smile and laugh so you are doing a great job!

Melinda

Pondside said...

True words, Jenny. If we live in the 'what if' we'll miss the here and now.

00dozo said...

I didn't have a chance to read all the comments, but I know the gist of your post. I think George Carlin said it the best: "Don't sweat the petty stuff, but don't pet the sweaty stuff".

;-)

(Good post!)

myletterstoemily said...

YOU are so inspiring! i will practice the
piano . . . my voice . . . etc.

jenny, i am serious that you inspire me
every time i visit here.

lets be friends!

love,
lea

taylorsoutback said...

I just got soundly shaken -
Excellent post - each word is a gem.
Thank you!

Holly said...

Oh lady...you know how to get me. My mind goes to those places all the time, and then my wild imagination takes over. I have gotten much better, but I am a mess when I leave - drive far with my kids or by myself - I seriously write note and out it in the console with emergency numbers and my name and how many people are with me...I now a freak I am.

Rekha said...

Its so true what you have mentioned...I spend all the time preparing for the worst case scenario that the actual reaction or event leaves me bemused and feeling silly...can't help it...but of late i have learnt to let go and take things as they come...

Nancy Jane said...

This was a super post. Personally, I practice optimism. The horrible things will always come, but in my world they are unbidden, unwelcome, dealt with at once and then shown the door. That formula keeps me happy.

Viki said...

I think I need to print this out, ha.

Amy said...

How you knew the right words for me at the right time is a mystery. Thank you. Some things are inevitable, but it doesn't mean focusing on them will help. Carpe Diem, right? Thank you Jenny. You are heaven sent.