I have just embarked on what will in the end effectively be a five week speaking tour. I am in England for almost two weeks and then I return home to Israel for four days before I head back out to the airport for three and a half weeks in the US. It’s the longest I have ever been away from home.
Two days before I was set to fly out on this first leg of my journey it was announced that the next day (the day before I leave) there would be a general strike by the union for public workers in Israel. That means that bus drivers, hospital workers, teachers and yes, AIRPORT STAFF would be on strike. Probably, they said, it would only last one day, but could also be much longer.
Oh no…. no, no, no, no! This would not be good! If there is a strike and it lasts more than one day, I won’t be able to get out on time for my first speaking event. And even if it only lasts one day, all of the flights that are cancelled would be put off to the next day, the day I am supposed to fly!
Letting my imagination run away from me just a little, I envisioned the absolute chaos that would ensue with twice as many people filling the airport, delayed flights, overworked unhappy clerks…. Oh no. I was so worried by the situation that I began to feel it in my stomach.
But then I began to think. What am I doing? Why am I worrying about something I cannot do anything about? Why am I letting myself get so worked up about something that is not guaranteed to happen and even if it does happen , I cannot change and the energy I spent worrying will not improve.
How often in life do expend a tremendous amount of energy on worrying about things we have no control over and cannot change? And what’s really behind worrying anyway? Obviously, the worry is being generated by fear. And fear is a little usurper that hangs around trying to take the throne in our head and run our lives. Fear is also stupid. It makes us do things that our counter-productive to our health and our very well-being. It steals your power. Don’t ever let anyone or anything steal your power. G-d gave you power for a reason. If I’ve said it once I will say it again – NEVER let fear decide for you.
There is a difference between fear and caution. Caution is that warning signal that you know that there is danger in a particular action or situation and you choose to avoid it in order to protect yourself. Caution is rational. Caution is why you are still alive today.
Fear is irrational, even if based on past experience. Fear creates a disconnect between you and your divine soul and interrupts your ability to make rational decisions. You worry when you allow fear to live rent free in your head. There is never a reason to worry. Once you recognize that you have a concern about something, engage your faith in G-d and your trust in yourself to handle whatever happens, send out positive energy to create a good outcome, but recognize that whatever may happen, if it is out of your control, it is out of your control. See it as an opportunity to grow.