You ever notice how you try to control things, even little things like when you get somewhere, only to find that you have no frickin’ control over anything? Sure, those times are annoying as hell. But they’re also pretty cool. They’re reminders to look at our expectations, which are engaged pretty much all the time. It’s just that we don’t notice it, so our expectations seem real, like they’re supposed to happen because we want them to. And leave it to some small snafu — a bill not getting delivered on time, a check bouncing, a car cutting us off and causing an accident — to make us realize we have very little control at all.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for car accidents or check bouncing. I’m not saying they’s fun or desirable at all. In fact, they suck. But they tend to come into my life when I most need reminding. Pay a little more attention, they say. Keep your hands on the wheel of your life. Hold on, but not too tight, as you direct your course.
Inevitably, the universe is bigger. It’s going to win most of the arguments out there. The trick is to stick with it, setting a strong intention for the future, while staying wildly and innately open to whatever comes next. Not easy, to be sure. But rewarding? It doesn’t get much better when you slay all the odds and make it happen just the way you wanted in the first place.
You know those people that no one wants to be around, and yet somehow they’re everywhere? I like to call them the Negatives, because no matter what you say, they always find a way to make things not work out? They love to rain on parades, especially if they’re marching in them, and to find a million and one reasons why It’ll Never Work Out. I actually find myself becoming sunnier and sunnier around these folks, until I’m exhausted from trying to balance out their darkness.
Anxiety has a way of doing this to people. From our distinctly American way of seeing the news (fear), the economy (more fear) and all the big things of life like health issues, family, retirement and Social Security (major uncertainty there), we aren’t really trained to deal with the stuff we can’t see, feel, control or quantify. Instead, we’re conditioned to keep fearing more, so we drive the financial and social agreements we’ve set forth.
Without getting too conspiracy-ish about it (those are boring anyway and, yes, fear-based as all hell), it’s enough to make you want to climb the nearest mountain or join the nearest ashram. And maybe those aren’t terrible ideas. But for the rest of us who choose to remain behind, maybe there’s another way. Rather than becoming one of the anxiety-prone or the discontents, maybe we can sit with our feelings, not to disregard or even chase them away. Maybe just the act of witnessing what’s really going on inside us, without judging it or comparing it to whatever everyone else is going through, we open up a new dialogue. And if someone is listening, doesn’t that mean that we’re being seen, heard and valued for all the right reasons, at exactly the right time?