Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Freeing the slaves

At some level we are all slaves to our emotions, but I'm usually pretty even-tempered.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons my stress levels are really high this morning.  We finally got the dog to eat last night, but he still won't eat a full meal, so it's hard to adjust his insulin levels -- and he throws up the new treats he loves but won't eat the old ones, and then begs constantly when he doesn't get them. So I'm off to the vet again at nine.

I'm in a play that opens this Friday but the director changed the blocking and his vision of the character yesterday, and we still haven't had a clean run-through with no interruptions. I need a few of those to feel comfortable in the role, so I'm worried I'll screw up.

And I've been privy to a lot of high-emotional-content conversations lately, and having to carefully sort out truth from perceptions and projections is a task I find quite exhausting: conflict always makes me uncomfortable.

So I woke in a panic this morning about something completely unrelated to all of this, and am now trying to step back and just carefully put one foot in front of the other and trust that "all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well." My husband, ever the practical one, puts it more succinctly: "Look at it this way: no one died" -- but then, he's the same man who used to tell our daughter it was foolish to be fearful.

The fact is, yes, the fears may have no basis in reality, but for those of us who carry what we in our family call "the fear gene," that rational approach doesn't really help.  Just because our fears are foolish doesn't mean we stop feeling them. 

And, in the long run, I need to remember to be grateful to that fearfulness, because it's what got me to try meditation, which then, in turn, brought me to a place of spiritual wonder and a sense of acceptance that is in fact what fuels and restores me, what enables me to keep stepping out in faith, to keep trusting, despite my fears, that all shall indeed be well; that "no-one will die."

I'm sure that sounds a bit cyclical, a sort of chicken and egg problem, but I still think it's important, when I begin to flagellate myself for my weaknesses, to remind myself that in the end those same weaknesses have brought me some incredible gifts. 

So, when looking for an image to place with this post, this one sprang to mind.  There's a junkyard I occasionally pass on my journeys, and the owners have a way of taking stuff the rest of us think of as trash and turning it into art.  Perhaps that's what I'm trying to do here, or at least trying to speak of here: that living the spiritual life allows us to transform that which gives us pain into something that helps us grow.

Or maybe it's just that, as Garrison Keillor says, "To an English major, everything is material."

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