Thursday, April 17, 2014

Anxiety's Antipode: Impermanence

Have you ever had thoughts racing through your head that question every decision you make, every step that you take in one direction (that eliminate other directions) and live in a state of stomach-churning fear that makes you feel like you are at the edge of a cliff with vertigo?

That, my friends, in something akin to anxiety. Of course other side effects could be dry mouth, heartburn, and if anxious enough for a number of years - perhaps heart failure, stroke, or other unpleasant auto-immune diseases.

With that cheerful introduction, there is a cure for anxiety (in addition to Prozac and Valium). Will you really care when you are on your deathbed that twenty years ago the sink leaked and ruined the flooring in the kitchen? Or that the dry-cleaners lost your favorite sweater when you were forty-two? Or that you didn't have enough money to buy the dream house or have the dream marriage or raise the dream children or flaunt the dream body or achieve the dream career? Or perhaps you had the mansion, the career, the car, the family, the fit body, the friends, the adulation - and all the headaches that go along with that too!

Whether failure or success by our worldly standards, the only thing we know for sure is that we will all die. Our existence on this earth is impermanent.

Not trying to be maudlin, but really, the things we stress out about, every moment of the day, are truly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Even for those who have been in the most horrible conditions, such as concentration camps and prisons, the one thing that helps the strong to survive is knowing that all things must change.

Those who die in peace are those who lived in peace. And the only way to understand that the rantings of our mind are insignificant is to remember, moment by moment, that "...
we are all dancing on this earth for a short time." (Cat Stevens)

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