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I am a worrier, particularly in regards to money. I’ve made a habit of fretting over whether there is enough money in the family budget to cover the bills and buy groceries and gas and the inevitable extra bill (car repair, school fee, doctor bill, etc.). It’s a bad habit that I attribute to growing up in a low-income household with parents who fretted about money.

Over the past summer, we were due to enter a particularly treacherous season of income instability and I knew I was likely to make myself sick with continuous worry. So, I wrote the following on my “To Do” list: “Deny the existence of the thicket.”

I made it a point to write this sentence at the top of every “To Do” list I wrote. Soon, it got shortened to “Deny thicket.” Every time I was tempted to fret about money, I remembered this was on the list and it promptly chased away the worry because I’m a stickler for following what’s on my “To Do” list.

“Deny thicket” is similar to the “No fear” phrase that’s been all the rage, but “No fear” doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s because “No fear” has become cliche and “Deny thicket” is more poetic and visual.

No matter. What I’ve discovered is that whether I worry or not, things always seem to work out. Denying the thicket just keeps me from expending energy on useless negativity.

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