Preparing for the Worst, Missing the Best

 In anxiety, stories

The story I’m about to tell you in absolutely, positively true.  *You’ll understand my need to give this disclaimer as soon as you read it.

A few months ago, the singing company I work for called me with an odd gig request. They asked me if I was available to sing for a funeral. Yes, a funeral. Not the happiest of occasions, to be sure. I was told a few songs I’d need to be ready to add to the remembrance, and, before ending the call, accepted this somber gig. My heart was warmed to learn that this funeral would be for a 94-year-old woman who had lived an incredible life and whose family loved her dearly.

Two days before the funeral, something unbelievable happened.

I got another call from my boss asking me if I would be available for the funeral if it was postponed to a later date. The reason? The “guest of honor” had not died yet.

I almost dropped the phone.

A million questions flooded my brain. Things like “Wait…we had a funeral planned for an alive person?” and “So you mean to tell me I’ve been practicing songs to sing at a funeral and the person is still living?!” I was more than a little freaked out. The family, of course, had been told that their beloved was near her end, but had apparently overestimated (underestimated?) their dearly departed’s departure.

Talk about a moment that’ll make you think! Life is so fragile and so precious. But you can’t have a funeral for a person who is still living! In the same way, you can’t experience LIFE, I mean, true life, if you are constantly preparing for the worst!

I say this as someone who has often done just that – prepared for the worst – only to find that the worst as I’ve hyper-imagined it rarely happens. Listen, I’ve gone through some stuff that others would consider really awful, but the really bad things tend to catch me off guard, while the things I’ve fixated on, stressed over, and given up precious sleep to, have rarely happened.

Life can be big and beautiful and breath-taking, but if you live in a space where worry overtakes most of your thoughts, you won’t ever be able to experience all the joy. The truth is that while preparing for the worst, you’ve been missing the best.

Bad things happen, yeah. But when those things happen, grace also happens. Until then, you can’t live as if your worst day is lurking around every corner. Why? Because it will make your days awful. Days marked by fear and anxiety are life-robbing and shaky. Days that are, instead, lived with hope and anticipation are joyful and vibrant and beautiful.

Don’t miss out on your best today because you’re busy preparing for the worst! Your BEST is just around the corner!

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