Bobby McFerrin sang that song, Don’t Worry Be Happy. It was a very popular song when I was in middle school. I loved it. It is such a simple phrase that is so easy to say. It’s a completely different thing to do though. Can you really just not worry? Can you really just be happy? There is a simple verse “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 KJV. That is how I memorized it years ago. Basically it means don’t worry, lay your worries on the Lord. That is still a difficult task. If…I…could…just…let…go… of my worries that would be AWESOME! Alas, I cannot; I try but it’s not that simple. When it’s your loved one whose suffering, whether it be a spouse, child, parent or sibling, you worry. With the different roles come different worries. For me I am in the role of spouse; my husband is the one suffering due to chronic pain. No one wants their spouse, child, parent or sibling to suffer. Below are some of the worries I have to fight against. Often these all come at the same time or in the same day; it all depends on my husband’s pain level.
•Will his pain send him home from work today? •Will he be able to continue to work? •Will he lose his job if he misses work anymore? •Will we have insurance if he has no job? •Will he wake up in more pain tomorrow?
•Will he accidentally take too much medicine? •What if he doesn’t wake up at all? •Will he get so fed up that he will end it all? •How do we pay his medical bills? •Will I come home and find him dead? •Will he ever get better?
•Will he take his medication? •Will he refuse to take his medication? •Will I be able to support us, if need be? •How is this affecting the kids view of him? •Do other people believe he’s in pain? •Will the doctor give up on him?
It’s a little easier to be happy than it is to not worry. Notice I did not say it was easy, just easier than not worrying. I try to be happy. It’s simpler when I’m at work or out with the kids; it’s like putting on a mask. Is it true happiness? I don’t know; does it really matter? If you try to be happy you will find some happiness. That can be contagious, like a smile. Try it sometime. If you smile at someone they will usually smile back. If you laugh others around you will smile or laugh with you most of the time.
I love to watch little funny videos. I try to read “feel good” stories. I read other things too but I make sure to read happy stories. Negativity is also contagious. It is hard to keep out the negativity. Make a conscious choice to be around happy people and limit your time with negative people. Find a happy movie, listen to joyful music, play with your kids, sing a song (although if I sing you wouldn’t be so happy), color a picture, anything that can bring a little happiness into your life. I try to play games with my kids, read them books, watch old fun t.v. with my husband (Andy Griffith is a favorite) or just joke around. So do your best to follow the advice of the song…Don’t Worry…Be Happy, as often as possible!