Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

In a recent conversation, a metaphor came to me. I am a writer, after all, and symbols pop into my head like a full to bursting, hot on the stove pan of Jiffy Pop. I was speaking with someone about anxiety and depression and the ways in which we lose focus when they are snagging us and attempting to pull us under. I have heard it said that depression is a reflection of the past ;  the shoulda, woulda, coulda stuff, and anxiety is fear of the future, wondering ‘what if and if only?’ Both keep us from living fully, since, for some, they lurk about, lying in wait; unpredictable and unbidden. At times, neither feels as if it is in our control.

I asked this person his favorite flavor of ice cream and the response was chocolate. Mine is mint chocolate chip, in case you wondered. My suggestion was to imagine a big bowl of it in front of him, spoon in hand. I encouraged him to imagine savoring it. He smiled and said he didn’t think he could do that since his habit was to think about how he would feel once the ice cream was gone. What was missing was the here and now awareness of how good it tasted, how it felt as it went down his throat; the sticky sweetness of the treat.

In its stead, he was longing for it to last forever. Ice cream never does. Nothing ever does. He could have enjoyed the experience without being dismayed that it would eventually disappear. So it is in all aspects of our lives. When we allow ourselves to succumb to the discomfort of uncertainty and rush to fast forward our thoughts, we are not fully present to the wonders that can only exist in this moment. Sitting with the discomfort of missing out and not knowing how the story ends, is a formidable task.

What if you could live in this moment?  And then the next question is: how would your life be different and better? I would cease worrying about circumstances over which I had no control. I would let go of the belief that I had to have all my ducks in a row. One of my favorite memes happens to be on the same subject. It reads: “I do not have ducks. Or a row. I have squirrels.  And they’re at a rave.” Mine feel like that at times, as I frantically attempt to corral them in, so they don’t run away or wreak havoc. In my life, they equate with managing a full-time job as a therapist, as well as several consulting gigs as a writer, speaker, coach, interfaith minister, and PR Goddess. I also do the FREE Hugs events that spread the love worldwide. I can eagerly anticipate the opportunities that unfold before me, or I can feel nervous about the ways in which they might occur. I used to worry about that. What helped me turn it around were the wise words of a seasoned facilitator friend. He would say, “Darlin’, the event will go as the event will go.” Once I had set the wheels in motion and planned as well as I could, I needed to surrender and let the momentum carry it. It has never failed. When I look back at times when I have symbolically stumbled and fallen, I see that I have always gotten back up, patched the boo-boo and kept on keepin’ on. The truth is, we have all always survived everything that has ever happened to us since we are here to tell about it.

Ready for some ice cream?

 

 

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