“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” Benjamin Franklin
There is a rule that Saint Benedict had that says simply, “Remember to keep death before your eyes daily.”
Early monks regarded such meditation on death as a way to live more fully and in a detached way. Many stories tell of an open and uncomplicated attitude when it came to death.
Here is a story from the desert fathers before the time of Benedict:
“News spread that an elder father lay dying in the desert of Skete. The brothers came, stood around his deathbed, clothed him and began to cry. But he opened his eyes and laughed. And he laughed again, and then again. The surprised brothers asked him, ‘Tell us, Abba, why do you laugh while we cry?’ He spoke, ‘I laughed at first because you fear death. Then I laughed because you are not ready. A third time I laughed because I am going from hard work to enter my rest – and you are crying about that!’ He then closed his eyes and died.”
So often I catch myself worrying about the smallest things in life. I can spend hours wasting my energy concerned about issues that can change in an instant and often work themselves out way before I get involved.
The story above reminded me, not so much to focus on my death, but to be aware of what is important in this moment.
Making a conscious effort daily to waste less time on issues that won’t matter on my deathbed really helps. In fact, I’m sure we would all laugh on our deathbed when we realise how much time we waste in this precious moment.
22 thoughts on “Don’t sweat the small stuff”
What a wonderful reminder to lighten up and focus on what really matters! Thanks Karen 💕
So true and it really helps when we understand it. Thanks Val 💚💕
Me too (worrying about smallest things)
Yes we need to stop and live a lot more!!! 🙄
Thank you for this wonderful reminder, Karen. Taking ourselves too seriously causes us so much angst!! 💕
It does and I feel so much lighter when I relax and flow with life. Thanks Carrie 💕
The key is t remember that it is all “small stuff”
Exactly! Thankyou 🙏🏻
Ever day I try to live a little more.
That’s the answer Emilie! 💕💚
Indeed! Thankyou Alan 🙏🏻
Knowing that death awaits us all helps me focus more fully on living this present moment with full-on attention, not wasting, but appreciating its precious gift.
Yes appreciating this moment is the gift!
Lots of wisdom here, Karen! I’m learning as I go to worry less about small stuff and to trust the flow of life, but my work is far from complete. Onward… 🙂
I hear you sister! Onward we all go. Step by step 🙄💕💚
hi very good article.
You are so right. Worry is wasted. Love the story. ♥
Thankyou Yvonne 💚💕
The story of the dying man reminds me of another similar story. A woman was dying and asked her daughter to have her eyeglass prescription changed. She was more focused on the present than on her death. Inspiring post, Karen. 🙂
Great story Carol! We could all do with a prescription change now and then! 💕