What? Not Again!

     Resistance! What an almighty struggle this double-edged sword poses for me. What is this I am fighting and why do I continue to put forth so much energy against myself in so many ways?

     Fear — that ever lurking primitive presence that seems so remote from the elaborate structures of this modern day. There are no tigers in my back yard, or snakes about my feet. Yet, life comes complete with that protective device deep inside the brain capable of generating our experience of fear. In that way, we continue the lineage of those who have come before us throughout all of time. Foes today don’t seem as obvious as historical threats, especially from this air-conditioned palace of hindsight, but our perceived threat of annihilation continues.

     I hate being scared. It scares me. To feel as if my existence is on the brink of extinction is frightening by design. And, as life-saving as that feeling is when faced with extreme threat, it is unwelcome today. In this time and place the threat is more pervasive, less specific, and on-going rather than distinct. No obvious foe on which to focus my generated energies.

     I hate being scared. It scares me. When I allow the physical accoutrements of life to represent my wholeness I feel a frisson of fear that is difficult to withstand. All my attention is claimed by this unwelcome thrill that I didn’t consciously request. I resist plugging my sensory ears to the mega-decibels of fright. The friction increases and not only can I hardly bear it, I fear, too, that I am unbearable to others — if true, I am alone in this misery.

     To tolerate the pain, I must return to small basic steps. What else is there to do, but go back to the beginning and review. My 17-year-old’s advice, “Breathe mommy, you’ll feel better. Really.” Advice worthy of regard.

     Pulling my attention inward, noticing I can still breathe; that I do have this safe, familiar ground — the rising and falling of my breath — reminding me that I am. This reassurance taken, the realization that inconvenienced is what I am. My efficient, predictable life is interrupted, which is about as welcome as an overflowing toilet. And, just like that plumbing predicament, must be attended to directly, otherwise the problem grows with each gallon.

     Frenzied as I am in my excited fright, how can I stand still and simply breathe? Running and breathing may be a better option. Yet, breathe I must.

     Plumbing is a skill I’ve highly resisted in my life just like fear. Yet Life returns me to the novitiate repeatedly. So, why am I so scared? This is but one more repeat, one more review, really no different. Will I make it? Can I endure it? The only report card here is my judgment. There is no failure, only the question of whether or not I will face that which I resist or deny its presence.

     My return to “freshman” status, this toss into the unknown, reminds me that I must constantly change and trust my desire to participate in my life no matter what curriculum faces me: fear or plumbing.

     So here I go to fix the toilet…to stay single-minded on my plumbing problem, immediate, obvious and tangible. The goal: to resist being distracted by my disastrous fantasies and keep breathing – all this simply from opening the mail.

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Posted in Uncategorized on 07/29/2009 04:40 pm

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