I know you’re scared. How could I not know when I wake up in the night with a knot of fear in my gut? I know you’re worried about the world. I know you’re uneasy about a future that feels out of control. I feel you grasping and holding tight, but that won’t help.
You want to protect Vic’s ancient mom from a government that doesn’t care for the aging and infirm. You want to protect the environment. You want to protect your sons. You want to protect yourself.
You seek safety in an unsafe and unpredictable world, but you forget. Life was always unsure and full of surprises.
Take a deep breath and look around. We’re OK right now. You remember all those teachings you’ve absorbed for a life time, the ones that say you only have now, this present moment? That’s all we ever had, even if we pretended otherwise.
Yes, the boat rocks and teeters, but remember what my brother said a few weeks before he died. You were anxious then, too. “I don’t worry about the big picture,” he said. “I just take the next step, the one I know how to take.”
Scared belly, trust that we know how to take the next step.
Meditate every morning and more as needed. Find inner quiet. There’s nothing better to do right now. It’s the medicine that brings balance.
When you look out the windows toward the forest, notice the tallest pine above the canopy. Remember how that pine connected you to the earth after Vic died. Let it connect your heart to the heavens now. Let it root you in the earth.
Tend your dreams. Remember the one from last week?
I see a table covered with lit candles, warm light, golden light. “I love the candles,” a woman says to me. I don’t know her or see what she looks like, but I know I can trust her.
The hook of fear is embedded deeply in the whole country, the whole world. The wobbling seesaw needs weight on the calm end. Take refuge in meditation practice. Take refuge in dream guidance. Take refuge in family and community. Yes, take action, too, but take refuge in inner peace while you act.
As Clarissa Pinkola Estes said, “We were made for these times.”
I’m here with you, little anxious one. Let sobs shake the belly loose. Let me cradle you like a frightened child.
Let’s light a candle in the darkness of our fear.
Are you wrestling with anxiety and fear, too? Do you have practices that help you let go and find peace within? For another post about working with fear, see I Thought I Could. For a post about meditation with a master, see How is a Buddhist Monk like a Butterfly?