Being Afraid & Falling Apart...
There is a lot going on right now. A lot. In the world. In my life. It feels like too much. I feel like everything is falling apart. I feel to some degree, like I am falling apart. And I am right, and wrong.
Life is always coming together and falling apart. This is just life. We just fail to notice all the myriad of little ways that life is always coming together and blowing apart. Unless it happens on multiple levels at the same time, or comes at us with ferocity that cannot escape our attention. Then we notice. Then we pay attention.
I guess I have the multiple levels and intensity which is why I feel so afraid right now. I am afraid of the world and what is going on. I don’t even watch the news because I can’t handle the reports of people’s treatment of each other but it invades my inner peace through the internet. I cannot escape the world’s inhumanity because I remain connected to it, if even by Facebook and the daily New York Times digest. Whatever the thread, any thread feels like too much now.
I am still sick and not really improving. I am not getting worse, that is not to say that I don’t feel worse, but just that my symptoms are maintaining. I feel worse because I am not a good sick person. I do not do down well. And I have been down for this entire month. Being ill makes me depressed and even though I hate to admit it, I am there. Scared and depressed. Not a good combo.
I am worried about my job and what is going on there. So many changes, coming so fast, it feels like people are losing their minds faster and more violently than before. I have always worked in a hard subject matter area, but it feels like it is harder now. I try to stay above the fray but I am not. I am succumbing and feel ill equipped to manage my emotions even as my job requires that I help others do just that. What happens when the person in charge of helping everyone else deal, can’t? I really don’t know what to say here. I am struggling.
I am worried, I mean really, worried about the world my kids are living in. I am terrified of what they have access to and what they live in fear of every day. School shootings, cyber bullying, the virus. When I see the world through my daughter and son’s eyes, I shudder. Really. Like every day.
I am scared which is really just an admission that I feel powerless. In fact, I likely am afraid because I am powerless. I do not like that feeling. I will do a lot of shit to avoid feeling helpless. I will tell amazing stories, disassociate and lie to myself in order not to feel like I do not have control...but I do not. I really, really don’t. I can’t do shit about the virus, or really even my own health. It is just going to run its course and I have no other choice but to try and be patient. I can’t stop school shootings or bullying, not even for my own kids. I cannot make my work life feel more manageable or peaceful or loving or appreciated. I cannot stop people from their own self destruction...I cannot really do much of anything. And I hate it.
People do some weird shit when they are afraid. Myself included. We reach and grab for story lines that make us feel safer. As if, if we could figure out what the ending would be, that that would somehow make it better. Guess what? We can’t. No one knows what the fuck is going to happen today and anyone who tells you differently, is just delusional.
We don’t know what life is going to bring us. We don’t know whether or not we are even going to live to tell about it tomorrow. We do not know how far a particular issue will unravel and how far that can bring us down. We just don’t get to know.
But as I desperately grasp for some feeling of control and some feeling like my life has purpose, as things feel like they are spinning out of control, I see that all I ever have control over is my attitude. I can give into the pervasive fear, I can give into my feelings and allow them to become factual. I can allow someone else’s conduct to make me crazy or I can just trust that I have been carried this far in life my practicing spiritual principles. Honesty. Faith. Trust. Service. This is all I know to do, when things come together rely upon God and when things fall apart, trust God. There really isn’t anything else to do. It is however, much easier said, than done.
I accepted a long time ago that I believed that there was some benevolence in the world, this underlying force of loving kindness and goodness. Sometimes I lose my way and I fail to see it because there appears to be so much wrong, so much badness, so much pain and anger and fear. But I always have to return to the place where I remember that I made a decision years ago to trust the good. To move in the direction of the light. To do the things that I know contribute to the light being shared with others. There is really nothing else.
I can review my life and see that it was never about me getting what I wanted. Me being happy came as a by product of helping others. My life was not set on a trajectory where I could seek to receive without giving. No my life was always about annihilation until that one day where I made a new choice and it all changed. Forever. My life was set on a new course, turned away from the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization, and set on a path where my darkest shit could be of use to someone else. I got to live, not so that I could thrive, but so that I could help others thrive, if they would only allow me.
In some ways that is what this blog has been about. Another avenue to serve others. To share the painful, the destructive, the hard, the excruciating, the love, the joy, the fear, the anguish so that someone else might suffer a little less, or maybe just feel a little less alone. And in order to share that I have to experience it. And today, I am there. I am scared. I am worried about the future. I am worried about what happens next.
But if I take a breath and calm down a little, I can see that all I have ever had is right now. Right this minute. Right here to be the best person I can. Right now to do the contrary action. To be present, alive and live this life as fully as I can. To endeavor to be helpful, even if I can’t fix it or even stop it from falling apart. This is just the nature of life, no matter what I do, it will always fall apart, and it, at least so far, will always come back together. And I guess on some level, I just have to accept that I am always going to be afraid at these times. The times where the future I took for granted feels so bleak. I can rest in the knowledge that nothing stays the same. Things are always in flux. That is just how life is. And my need to lock it all down and think that is predictable is just another way that I try to feel safe. And today it doesn’t even work anymore.
I am afraid. I cannot see what is going to happen next and it makes me feel so insecure. The only solace I get is that I just have to trust. I just have to believe that whatever crazy loving force brought me this far, will carry me forward today. It might not feel as I would like, it might not work out the way that I think it should. But, if I practice what I know to be true, loving even when scared and being willing to share my pain, my embarrassment, my fear, that somehow it will work out. I don’t know when or how. But it will because that is just how life is. Always working out even if I would like to see something else happen. It isn’t up to me. All I can do is be honest, do what I believe to be the right thing and then take the amazing leap of faith and trust that the hand of God will always catch me and set me upon whatever ground I am supposed to walk next.
And I have to do that even when terrified. Even today. Right now. This is where my life is happening, and I can not like it and be all choked up about it, but none of that really changes anything. Life is going to happen, sometimes I am going to love it, sometimes hate it. And sometimes, I am going to be utterly wrung out and scared. It is all just part of the deal. This crazy mother fucking deal called life.