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Worry is not your friend

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Worry is not your friend

A few weeks ago I had what I thought was a no-big-deal health issue.  I went to the doctor, and all of a sudden I need a biopsy. Wait.  What?  I'm not a medical professional by any stretch, but even a layman like me knows that biopsy is another way of saying, Hey, you might have cancer.  So I submitted to the procedure, and went home to do what any right thinking person does after a biopsy.  I worried.

I spent most of the next week worrying.  What if I do have cancer?  What if I need surgery? What if I die?  It was like a weight around my neck, a pall over everything I did.  Like a kiss from an Azkaban dementor the worry sucked every happy thought from my mind and turned my whole world dark.  Finally, Sunday, my husband took me gently by the shoulders and said it's going to be fine.  You're going to be fine.  Stop Worrying.  Your worrying is not helpful.  You're going to be fine...but if not, we'll deal with it together.  But worrying won't change anything.  He was right.  It's hard to let go when we're afraid, but we must. 

worry and fear are singularly unproductive emotions robbing us of all the happiness and opportunities for joy in our life.  They presume the worst and become a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy.  We worry that we will be miserable, and so we are miserable. 

I see the same kind of worry creep into the thoughts of knitters, both new and experienced.  The outcome is uncertain, so there is fear and worry that steals the joy from our very hands.  Instead of focusing on the yarn's glorious color,  how wonderful it feels in our hands, and how rhythmic the motion, we let uncertainty fester in our mind.  What if it doesn't fit? I don't think I can seam this thing right. What if it looks bad? 

Let me take you (and myself) gently by the shoulders and say, Stop Worrying. It will fit.  We'll help you seam it, and it will look wonderful.  And if it doesn't, we'll fix it together.  Either way, the only thing worry changes is our outlook and our capacity for joy.  And so, while I wait for my own results, I will knit, and I will focus on the feel of the yarn, the calm of the knitting, the unseasonably beautiful July weather, and all the other joys in this life.  I hope you will join me.

I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table.  You are always welcome here.  ~Ellen

Back to 10 July 2018 Newsletter