You’ve heard the story of the young college student who returned home after her first year in college. Her parents greeted her at the door with open arms and inquired about her academic accomplishments. Unfortunately a tear came to her eye, and their hearts sank as they stood together in the entrance to her childhood home.
The daughter explained to her parents that she had fallen in love with her much older college professor and they’d agreed to run away together after only a few weeks of classes. The good news was he was a practicing doctor, and she was well cared for, but the bad news was she had gotten pregnant and had a child. The parent’s eyes widened with each new revelation. The daughter continued.
Not only had she had a child, but the child had also been diagnosed with a rare disease requiring major surgeries and she’d incurred massive debts. Though she was able to get a discount for the medical procedures because she was living with the doctor, unfortunately, she had spent her parent’s entire college fund to save her child. Sadly, though her baby held on for several weeks, the doctors were unable to save the child. The daughter then shared the most devastating news that shortly after the child passed, the doctor left her for another woman and took her car as collateral for unpaid rent. In despair, she’d become addicted to drugs and would need thousands of dollars of rehab.
Her parents stood in stunned silence. They looked at each other bewildered about what to say or do. The daughter hung her head. “I’m sorry,” came the words from the young woman, “but, I actually made all that up.” In an instant her parent’s stunned silence turned to furious shock. “Why would you tell us such lies?!” becried her mother. “How could you make us feel so horrible?! bemoaned her father. “You see, the truth is I don’t need rehab because I’m not addicted to drugs. My car wasn’t taken for collateral, it’s parked in the driveway. I never got pregnant or lost the child, and your college funds are still safe and being used wisely because I attended two full semesters of classes and passed all my classes. Furthermore, I didn’t fall in love with my college professor and run away with anyone. But, I did get a D+ in freshman Biology and a D- in Microeconomics, and I wanted to tell you this bad news, but I needed you to keep things in perspective.”
Worry distorts our perspective. It whispers lies, and attempts to convince us we cannot choose positive emotions in the face of difficult circumstances. Worry is defeated when we choose a healthy mindset regardless of situational difficulties.