Waiting for The Other Shoe To Drop


I am afraid to be let go, to relax, to release that low level of anxiety that has been my constant companion my whole life. Part of this resistance is the feeling that if I do accept this equilibrium that I am “tempting fate” and something will happen to bring be back to chaos, to fear, to uncertainty and apprehension.

Another side is that a fear that I am not paying attention. I don’t deserve this ease from shame and blame; that I have not allowed myself to see what a shit I really am, I have blocked the harm I have done others, that I have not acknowledged the full force of the tornado I have been through people’s lives.

I have abundance. I don’t buy every garment, piece of jewelry or meal that catches my fancy. My house has had the same decorations for eons. While do maintain our home when needed; decor is not my thing.  I am sometimes more cautious about spending than I need be; well when it comes to myself. I enjoy generosity as well. What I am trying to say is that I no longer live in a constant state of financial insecurity. I had since I realized what bills were at the age of 11. I knew that if you didn’t have money you could be evicted, you would not have enough food, that there certainly wasn’t money for records, for clothes that weren’t required  (I remember losing my gym clothes one semester and what a blow up that was for the whole family.) We had no money for anything extra. This was the case for many decades after that. Penny pinching is part of my makeup. But the fear of economic insecurity has left me. I am worried I am not paying attention.

I have a delicious family. Each one, unique in their own right, is thriving. Flourishing in some cases. Struggling in others, but each person is wholeheartedly her or his self. I am blessed. My siblings have each found balance and stability in their lives. They are very different, their circumstances are individual, and they seem content. I love all twigs of the family tree and that is an honor. Not everyone get to have that experience.

I am as busy as I want to be. Sometimes I take too large a bite out of the opportunity apple and feel overwhelmed, but each activity on its own is fulfilling. Each one on its own has been selected. There are very few “duties”. Housework itself can be managed with the right music and the correct attitude. “It this not my beautiful house?” (Talking Heads- “Once in a Lifetime”) is a perfect soundtrack for these efforts.

Aging is unpleasant but I am well, I am in great health with the natural aches and pains and concerns of someone at this stage of life. This is an area of my worry allet where a headache or constipation can be signs of an undiagnosed tumor that will kill me before it is discovered. I also bow to the drama queen inside me. I believe I am not alone in these forecasts of doom.

So why am I worried? I am worried because I no longer live as if I were waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am worried because I no longer live in a state of worry. The hypervigilance and high anxiety that have been my sidekicks for all these years have gone on walkabout. I have lost my edge. So as an accompaniment to what FDR said “the only thing to fear is fear itself”; I am afraid of not being afraid. So that can wreck this whole “serenity” thing.

The practice of yoga is said to still the fluctuations of the mind. It appears I have a lot more “practice” ahead of me.

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