Sitting in worship yesterday after a very profound communal reading (not a Quaker practice and fraught with personal memories of rote meaning), the blessed, gathered silence opened deep wisdom including that I am afraid. Constantly afraid.
I know my body reacts as if continual fire alarms ring all of my waking hours. My nerves are on overdrive, a very unscientific explanation of fibromyaglia. I'm not certain a scientific one exists as it is not well understood. For years, doctors told me nothing real was wrong because their diagnostics could not detect soft-tissue pain.
And yet, I don't believe I am the only one to feel afraid. I believe we all do at some time or another.
– more health challenges
– not enough money to be comfortable
– not living up to my potential
– leaving my kids with a messy world
Funny, I have:
– learned to manage a chronic condition
– always had enough even in lean times
– had several careers and am embarking on another, to which I am spiritually called
– taught my daughters the lessons I have learned, trying not to relay what's harmful
So why am I afraid of the things I have already conquered? Because I want to pretend that I am in control. Life throws curve balls and, so far, mine have been manageable. What, specifically, has made them manageable?
Something bigger than myself. Use whatever word or concept you desire.
That something is also bigger than our cyclone-like culture that smashes anything in its path that refuses to move in the same direction; our addiction to 24/7 news that only looks at the negative, preying on disaster; reality TV that caricatures our humanity, passing it off as exemplary or stingingly revealing weakness; the constant noise and distraction in our lives; a prevalent competitive spirit that compares and judges; and whatever else erodes our natural balance and rhythm.
My best defense again fear is prayer: talking to God/Spirit/The Universe as often and as deeply as I can.
• What rules me? Fear? Gratitude?
• Of what am I fearful?
• How can I counter that?
• What fills me with negativity? Fills me more lovingly?
• How can I nurture myself while being a part of the world?
Dear One –
all of me
in my heart,
grind and greed