For those of us who suffer from anxiety I am sure that we realize that anxiety is fear. I’m not sure that we can identify the fear….or put a name to it. Maybe if we could do that we could conquer it..and that is the trick….learning how to conquer it.
All the coping skills that we learn are ways to shove the fear away and replace it with calm and resolve. When fear raises its ugly head we react with the flight or fight response. Our body is ready to go into battle. As most of us know, there is no battle looming. Only the one with ourselves.
Like those with PTSD too much adrenaline is coursing through us and our heart rate increases, alertness heightens, and we are hyper and fearful. We know it is anxiety and too often related to nothing threatening but there we are.
I wonder if we could stop and identify the specific fear it would help. Maybe just taking a good look at our worst thoughts would help us to be more realistic. Most of the time the bridge we are trying to cross is never coming.
I think I will add this to my list of coping skills to see if I can identify the threat and thereby defuse it. It really would be nice if this can be another skill to add to the arsenal.
Periodically I take time out to worry about the state of the world and especially the US. After the latest shooting I thought about how much hate is our there. How did we get to this? Like the song from South Pacific hate has to be taught. We aren’t born hating. It is learned. What went wrong in those families (or lack of) that taught so much hatred.
Hating people for their faith seems so unnecessary. However, it is not the only kind out there. Hatred seems to have spread so much faster than love. Are we so afraid of differences? For me, hatred is related to fear…fear that people like “us” will not come out on top. Fear that causes us to facilitate the eradication of any threat to our beliefs. Is my own belief so weak that the belief of others is a threat? We saw this before in Nazi Germany but it was more about purity of race than faith.
Somehow I am not sure that humanity should expect to survive forever. We will either annihilate ourselves or the earth we have raped will do it for us. After all, maybe we are not meant to last forever. We seem to be too flawed.
I worry about my grandchildren and great grandson. What sort of world are we leaving for those to come? If only we could learn the kind of interaction that most major religious leaders have taught. I hope it is not too late.
Yesterday I wrote about too much stuff and today I am following that thought with this one. Have we truly become a disposable society?
Many places are working to become more earth friendly and recycle some of the waste we create. But we are not there yet. Too often when something grows old we just throw it away.
When I was a child anything that was broken was taken to be repaired. It was considered too valuable to be just thrown out. Now we not only have too much but also don’t fix things. I know that the racing pace of technology makes keeping old phones, computers etc. impractical and no one wants them. That is where we are.
I do have a concern about where we can be headed and in some cases where we already are. How disposable are people? As a nurse my 20 years visiting the elderly made me lament their current life. So many of them were in nursing homes with no sense of purpose in life. You walk down the halls and they are just sitting in wheelchairs all alone. Many people who walk by do not even acknowledge their existence or see them as too senile to speak to them. This disturbed me greatly. I always spoke and offered a smile or a handshake. They were so grateful to be seen.
Are we putting them away out of sight? Are they disposable? Does their current life have any value?
Somehow we have to find a better way. Nursing homes are trying to offer programs for stimulation but it is too little too late. We have to begin understanding that we are living longer and, hopefully, in good health. But sometimes we have run out of resources to pay to be in a better place, have better health options, and better care. Sometimes we are struck by illness that leaves us less than ourselves. What to do?
The earth is overcrowded now and we are living longer. Will we start recycling our elderly as food like in Soylent Green?
Yesterday I wrote about the challenges in the last year and that I hope we are heading for a break. So that’s what I thought? Guess again. Now with plans to leave my home in coastal Georgia and travel to Florida there are three storms in the Atlantic! I just want to yell at God and say “GIVE ME A BREAK!” By the way, it is ok to yell at God. He can take it.
So now we are watching hurricanes and hoping that we get a miss. My brother-in-law will be with our dogs. He is flying in tomorrow. I bet he wished he had never agreed to this!
Well, life goes on and we cannot control mother nature.
I am sharing a poem I wrote about life:
Life is very strange its patterns like paisley swirl on fabric
blending colors and shapes our life takes strange twists unexpected directions
and we are unable to see the form from within the design our viewing point
deep in the weave we can only see one color at a time
and cannot know the beauty of the whole
and even though God allows us to choose colors and patterns he alone can see the beautiful design
I was remembering this song by the Kingston Trio from my college days.. 1960’s.
They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The french hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like anybody very much!!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away!!
They’re rioting in Africa
There’s strife in Iran
What nature doesn’t so to us
Will be done by our fellow man
The sad part about this song is that is it still true. The line: The whole world is festering with unhappy souls, especially strikes me. It is so sad that song was written over 50 years ago and nothing has changed. I guess at the time I really thought that the world would be a better place but it’s possible that it is worse.
It does seem logical that with the enormous population growth and the availability of information at our fingertips we would either draw closer together or further apart. Maybe both things are happening. (if you can hold two opposite things at once)
If only our accessibility to the world would grant us better understanding. If the population continues to grow at this rate we will have to learn to live together or die out. My daughter lived in Japan for a while and experienced the way that people living in such juxtaposition to each other have learned to manage by their awareness of personal space and their ability to center down into themselves among others.
We have to learn new ways to love and accept each other. Life depends on it.
I have been listening to an audio book by Alexander McCall Smith from the No1 Ladies Detective Agency series( Tea Time for the Traditionally Built). I love these books and the audios are so well read I think I am there.
The main character had blister on her foot from walking. She had that day put several band aids on it and it had now popped and felt better. She thought to herself (my rendering)”If we will just do what we can about a problem to fix it and move on after that things will work out.”
This thought really resonated with me. We spend a lot of time worrying about a problem and trying to make a decision. In the meantime the problem continues. If we would just determine what can be done and do it we would be ahead of the game. The other piece of the puzzle is that once we have done that we have to let it go. That is also very difficult. We would rather pick it up and chew on it again like a cow chewing a cud. Somehow we have to learn and implement these important things.
- Identify the problem.
- Decide if anything can be done.
- Determine the best solution (for now).
- Do what we can.
- Let it go.
This is hard for those of us who obsess and worry. Can you do what is possible and then move on?
Yesterday I wrote about the anxiety attached to again ?? the physician’s office about records. I felt so foolish going again and as usual it was not at all difficult and we managed to get everything we needed.
It’s that thing about crossing bridges before we get to them. It is one of my favorite things to do. I visualize the event, conjure up conversations and live the experience over and over. Really stupid when I only need to live through it once. This obsession with imagining the future is not a good choice.
I wish I knew why I do this or how I started. It would be so nice to just shut it off. I do try. Using reverting to positive thinking and focusing on other things helped and I was able to remain reasonably un-crazy and not run for bathrooms.
Those of us who have this problem are so good at imagining the worst. We seem to think that going over it and over it will prepare us to cope. I’m not sure that is true. The anxiety we experience before the event may far exceed reality. I am sure that there are times when this is not true but I do think they are infrequent.
Learning to recognize different events and evaluate their true potential for unacceptable outcomes would help to decrease the level of stress involved. Am I going to die from this interaction? Will I run screaming from the building? Just looking with an open mind and clear eye may help to bring things into focus.
We learn each day. We grow each day and hopefully learn and use new ideas for coping.
May your day be blessed.