Action Trumps Anxiety
I am constantly reminded we were all made for so much more than the constant struggle of life. The tug and pull of life is exhausting at times. If it’s not one thing it seems to be another and I am often reminded, this is ‘not my home'.
If you are one of the ‘lucky ones' with anxiety, it’s like there is always a bear outside your front door waiting to pounce. I have been wrestling with my own ‘bears’ lately. A friend taught me the phrase "action trumps anxiety". Basically, that means that doing the 'next right thing' helps us work through our anxiety. When my anxiety hits I basically have 2 options. 'Do the next right thing' to help reduce my anxiety OR sit, fret and work myself in to a panic attack. Yes, sometimes anxiety attacks just hit us. But I am telling you, there are times I work myself in to one. Life can feel like we are always running away from, or in to 'bears'.
Many years ago I was a camper at a summer camp in the Sierra Mountains. Being the 'good little campers’ that we were, several of us were out well past the time we were supposed to be in our cabins... A post on rebellion another time. Anyway, later that night we found out the hard way why they had curfews for us.
As we were talking and minding our own business, someone down the road yelled “bear” and we all started running. Little did we know that they were chasing the bear out of camp on the same path we were coming back in to camp on. A friend and I were running full speed when we turned the corner behind the Chapel and ran right in to the bear. By ‘run right in to the bear’ I mean almost literally.
The bear went up on her back legs and so did we… My imagination over the years has told me that I hit her chest, but I know I didn’t. Yet, I do know I smelled and felt the heat of her breath… and the puddle we were standing in afterwards proves it. You don’t forget such a run-in.
She towered over us. But the crazy thing is, she turned and ran away like we were chasing her. I can only gather that she was intimidated because there were 2 of us, and only one of her (Or maybe our breath was worse than hers!?). I learned many lessons that night--one being, there are reasons for curfews! I will never forget that night for many other reasons as well.
Today, after some time with a friend, I was reminded how important it is to do this life together. It really doesn’t matter all that much what ‘bear’ is outside our front door or what 'bear' is chasing us. If we do this life together, we can survive it.
I have also been meditating (obsessing) on the “Serenity Prayer”—the full version. The second (less popular!) verse reads:
"Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;"
I believe the most difficult line in the whole prayer to live out is; “Taking life as it is, not as I would have it.” Some life circumstances are just so hard and "not as I would have it." No one really gets to choose their ‘bear’. There is so much in my life that I wish was different or wish I could change.
If I ran the Universe, the FIRST thing I would do is get rid of the bear on my porch! But God in His infinite wisdom did NOT put me in control of the Universe. As a matter of fact, in His rich sense of humor, He has been helping me realize I don't even control much of my own life. Do any of us really control that much?
However, I know one of the few things we do control are the people we let into our lives and hearts. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12. There is something so special in the fact that God knew we would need each other. There is so much power in doing this life together. We all need ‘our people’.
“Next to Grace, I bet God thinks making us need each other was one of His best ideas.” — Bob Goff
I whole-heartedly love and adore ‘my tribe’, my people that I walk through this life with. You are ‘my people’ and you are such a grace from God. I know there are others that can at times feel like a ‘curse’. That just makes it all the more important to cling to your people.
I don’t believe God ever wanted any of us to walk alone. I met with a dear friend today who happens to be a widow. This woman has more 'dear friends' walking life with her, than any other human being I have ever known.
There is a depth to her soul. Her relationships are so beautiful and meaningful. She knows suffering and she knows the Comforter and she knows how to comfort... “He (God) comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." 2 Corinthians 1:4.
As we were talking, she listened to my heart and my struggle. She cried with me and laughed with me. She also laughed at me! It's good to have friends to remind us to laugh at ourselves. She reminded me that my brain is always over thinking things and sometimes I take this life way too serious. Before I left she grabbed my hand and prayed for me. We took action and chased my 'bear', together. What a gift.
No matter what you are going through, hang in there—no season lasts forever...YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Grab a hand, OR give a hand to someone else--that can heal you nearly as much at times.
I love you dear ones.
Keep fighting and keep showing up in your lives! Your story is still being written...
P.S. I also wanted to share a quick video from "The Skit Guys" I suggest you take 10 minutes to watch it. Powerful and hilarious!
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