Earlier today I was all set to serve you up a post about daffodils….trying to stick to the gratitude theme and all.  However, writing about those sprightly little bits of sunshine today seemed, well…at best, insincere, and at worst, like I was shoveling BS.

(Maybe I shouldn’t say that on account of the lovely daffodil post you may very well be reading tomorrow! 365 days, people!).

So, as you may have noticed I’ve drifted a bit here and there from the original impetus of this blog, which was to record a daily practice of gratitude. The thing is, through this daily writing process, I have uncovered and explored a lot about the grieving process from within myself, as well as from many of you. I think this exploration is, and will continue to be, a much truer refection of the year than if I were to purely focus on what brings me joy.  By allowing myself (and you) to witness and honor the more uncomfortable feelings, we see a much more authentic picture of…well, of life, right?

Of life and death and everything in between – the human experience.

So, yes, not only has gratitude been shared here, but also sadness and anger, and perhaps some worry.  What hasn’t reared its ugly head yet (I don’t think so, anyway) is anxiety.

Until now…

Well hello, Anxiety!  We should’ve known you’d show up!

It’s because of the post about Risk, isn’t it?  

I thought so.

Anxiety has arrived to call bullsh*t on this funloving, bohemian view.

It landed powerfully yesterday.

I battled it with deep breathing, rest, sunshine, and reading to distract myself.

Then, today…it was back.

In spades.

Oh, and I see you’ve brought your friend, Fear.  How lovely! 

This morning I was entirely (and completely irrationally) convinced that some terrible fate had befallen a friend. I’m not going to get into the details, because, well…it’s just embarrassing.  Part of me knew I was being irrational (and fortunately that was the part of me that willed myself to wait at least ten minutes for a text response before going off in search of his lifeless body).  The other, very visceral part of me had tightly lodged my racing heart well up into my throat.

The thing is, we can talk about risk and lack of predictability, and about letting go of (the illusion of) control, but…

If you are a parent, or a child, or a sister or brother, a husband or wife, a lover or a devoted friend…and on and on…

Let me simplify –

Do you love?

Are you loved?

Then, I don’t believe you can ever be truly free from fear of loss…not when you have opened up your heart.

Especially when you have lost before.

But…

I also know that we cannot allow anxiety and fear own us, for example – by putting us into a panic when someone we care about goes out of view, or isn’t where they are meant to be (small children aside).

So, I know I will have to learn to relax my grip on the steering wheel of life…after all, I do know I am not really driving this crazy train.

This ease of hand and heart may take time, and I’m okay with that.

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By the way,

When I heard from my (entirely not dead) friend this morning, and I told him how insane I felt, he replied…

“We’re all mad here, Alice.”

(I do love my friends.)

You must be mad, or you wouldn’t have come.

 

 

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