Make an Exchange, No Questions Asked

by Ashley on May 14, 2012

What I’m about to share with you is a true story. Parts of it might seem outrageous and unbelievable. I assure you, it’s all very real.

I had a little conversation with myself this weekend.

“Self,” said I, “You’re wasting too much energy on worry. It’s futile. Futile, I say! You’re squandering precious weekend time, and you don’t even know whether your fear is going to come true.”

Worry Flowchart

My self ignored me and continued to harbor a rock in my belly and a growing sense of dread. Trying to stop my self from thinking about the worry made it that much harder to forget.

So I took my complaint to my self’s manager. This was significantly more productive. He already told me he’ll deal with all my fears; I just have to bring them and leave them. Sometimes giving up the worry is difficult, which makes approximately zero sense, because I didn’t want it in the first place. But my self likes to deal with these issues. As if my self’s manager can’t handle them or can’t be bothered by these piddly matters.

“Yeah, and how’s that working out, Self?” I ask.

Obviously, skipping the middleman and going straight to the one who can actually do something about it is where I should have taken my worry in the first place. Hindsight, right?

Anyway. I petitioned my self’s manager. “So here’s the deal,” said I. “There’s this worry that won’t leave me alone. I can’t do a thing with it. I have no idea how it will turn out. And I’d really like to return it. Maybe exchange it for some peace of mind? I don’t have my receipt.”

Lo and behold, I was in luck. You do NOT need a receipt to exchange a worry. The manager can basically do whatever he wants (obv), so if you just ask, he’ll take it. My worry was in “used” condition, too. I’d been wearing it for a while. Doesn’t matter. If it’s not working for you, that manager will exchange it for something better, no questions asked.

And what’s really great is that you can make the exchange instantly. Peace of mind is never on back-order. Get it brand new, straight from the source. But it is an exchange. You can’t keep the worry and have peace of mind, too.

What baffles me is that sometimes I just don’t want to give up the worry. I’d rather have peace of mind. But giving up the worry means giving up control. I hate doing that.

But when I handed over my worry, it was such a relief. I realized I didn’t have control anyway, so why bother keeping the worry?

Now, I realize I’m going to have to make this exchange many times in my life. Sometimes I hoard a lot of worries and bring them all back at once. It makes me embarrassed though, like the old lady bringing 40 pounds of pennies to the bank and counting them out one by one. So I shy away from bringing them. But that’s what the manager wants. He wants you to keep coming back. In fact, he’d prefer if you just stay right beside him, so you don’t have to try to find him when you want to make an exchange. (And you won’t have to lug around that 40 pounds of pure embarrassment.)

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:26-27

What do you do with your worry?



Super post, Ashley! Love it. I had an exchange with myself this weekend too, but it didn’t run quite like that. Mine was more of the “The client call is coming and her last note wasn’t pleasant” variety.
Turned out just fine in the end, but I worried it up to the very second she brought up the issue. And she was so fine with everything – really not worth worrying about!

by Lori on May 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm. Reply #

That seems to be the way those things normally work out, doesn’t it? My fear was all in vain, too, but I just found out for sure a few minutes ago. I should never have worried at all, because it was never in my control anyway, and someone else always handles these things much better than I do anyway 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Lori!

by Ashley on May 14, 2012 at 6:33 pm. Reply #

Great post, Ashley. I really think worrying does something for us or else we wouldn’t do it so much. I’m an ex-worrier and I sometimes wonder why I loved doing it so much.

I love the worry flowchart! I’m going to print that and hang it somewhere my wife can see it constantly.

by Greg on May 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm. Reply #

Thanks, Greg. I think worrying is a result of our need to be in control. When I don’t have control over a situation, my response is to worry. When I have control again, I stop worrying. I’m trying to give up the futility of trying to control situations I can’t do anything about 🙂

by Ashley on May 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm. Reply #

That’s one clever manager, Ashley. I’d listen to him. Super post. 🙂

I often have a nagging coworker buzzing in my ear with negative thoughts. When I remember that person doesn’t have my best interests at heart, I kick the nagger to the curb and seek out my friend with the positive thoughts. Much better friend. 🙂

by Cathy Miller on May 15, 2012 at 6:25 am. Reply #

That’s smart, Cathy. I don’t like hanging around negative people if I can help it. They always bring me down. I’d much rather be around someone who lifts me up!

by Ashley on May 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm. Reply #

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