October, 22, 2020
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt. 6:34, NIV).
As you probably noticed, I took a break from writing. To clarify, it was really my brain that took the vacation. I had given up drinking massive amounts of caffeine due to severe reflux. A month and a half later, this caused a sudden increase of confusion and memory loss, which necessitated my getting an MRI and CT scan. Because these tests were normal, it was concluded that I was suffering from post acute withdrawal syndrome. I am only telling you this so that if you decide to do the same thing, you might recognize it for what it is and save yourself from having to go through unnecessary tests and worry.
During that time, I had great fear of THE UNKNOWN. I’m usually fine with the known, no matter what it is. However, it’s the unknown which keeps tripping me up. This is especially true now with COVID and the presidential race. It really is true what I said in my last letter, “Fear does not stop death [or disease, or presidential results, etc.]. It stops life. And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace.” Too bad I didn’t take my own advice.
It’s interesting, because I knew which steps to take to help me through this, but it was just too difficult to practice them. Looking back, I realize now that because I had difficulty practicing them, I wasn’t persistent in my efforts. I think I was just too exhausted to do so. I thought that it should have been easier than it was. However, I did come up with a new practice that I found helpful when I “remembered” (lol) to do it. My new practice was just repeating the word “NOW” during routine actions such as walking, cooking, washing the dishes, or meditating. Or if I was in the middle of a very anxious moment, I would stop, breathe, and say “now” over and over.
“Now” is a magical word, indeed. When I repeated the word “now”, it took me out of the past, as well as out of the future of “what would happen if?” It took away any judgment I had about whether something was good or bad. It just was.
In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle states, “Presence removes time. Without time, no suffering, no negativity, can survive.” I have not yet read this book, but I certainly plan to “NOW.”
“Prayer: Loving God, forgive us when we worry. Help us to trust that You can handle all our fears. Amen” (The Upper Room, Oct. 21, 2020).