A direct threat to our survival is distilled in the realization that this, right now, is all there is, and the this might just be death. I’ve experienced that sensation of a moment apart (like you see in movies, when the action is slow-motioned for just a second or two). It’s fear in its purest, legit form.
You would think such experiences have taught me that fear is not true and pure when I’m flaming it on an ordinary day, when I have money in the bank, food in the cupboard, a home, people to love and be loved by. You would think…
This is how the thinking goes and this is how fear grows:
It’s an ordinary day, but I only have enough money in the bank for three weeks, the food in the fridge is depleted, which means more spending, the bond (or rent, whichever applies) must be paid, which means more spending…
And so, fear flares as I pump the billows of my hand-wringing mind. The heat is on. Contentment, trust, and serenity are being flame-eaten by the potential for disaster, and not its existence in reality, in life right now.
Soon, I’m spending mental and emotional resources I don’t have worrying about physical resources that, at this moment, I do have.
In three weeks life can deliver a fire, an intruder, a genuine crisis that warrants true and pure fear.
It can also deliver unexpected solutions and miracles: a job, a life altering phone call, an event that moves me in a new direction.
And even if my unhealthy fear is prophetic, even if in three weeks time I am broke and broken, what good did the fear do me? In fact, it might have contributed to my predicament. When we’re exhausted and anxious and overwhelmed we cannot think straight. We suck at seeing opportunities, at finding fresh, creative approaches.
Halting spiraling negativity and the vortex of fear is not easy. It requires action that soothes my spirit and puts a stick in the spokes of spinning mind-wheels.
One of the actions I take is to knit.
I’m not a pattern knitter. I’m not an adventurous knitter (when it comes to color, yes, I’m adventurous). I knit as a kind of meditation, one rhythmic row after another of long, bright rectangles that calm and center me.
The rectangles become a blanket, and the blanket a comfort, and comfort a cure. I can rest beneath my blanket of many colors and allow dilemmas to be delivered to unseen realms and mystical entities who can, in fact, do something to help, if I flee the burn and douse the flames.
Real fear burns a hole in the moment, false fear chokes every moment.
Do you have a task or ritual that turns off fear? Or even better, smothers fear but flames creativity and passion? Do tell.
Thank you for stopping by.
‘Til next time.