Fearful or Peaceful

“Don’t fight fearful thoughts.

Just match each one with an alternative thought

that brings you more peace.”

Martha Beck

We all have fearful thoughts. What if I lose my job? Is that spot on my arm cancerous? If I die, what will happen to my family? What will I do if my loved one leaves? Those questions and so many more fill our waking hours and nag us in our dreams.

Martha Beck says to match each fearful thought with one that brings peace. That sounds too easy to be useful. Even so, let’s think about what she says and see how it works by going through our questions one at a time.

What if I lose my job?
I have a job today and my family is fed. Deep breath. Relax your face, jaw and neck muscles.

Is that spot on my arm cancerous?
I’ll call the dermatologist for an appointment. She’ll analyze it and offer a solution. Skin cancer is not fatal unless neglected and I’m taking action. Deep breath. Relax your shoulders, arms and hands.

The bank called and they want to talk to me. Yikes! What’s up? Checking account empty?
Perhaps they just want to sell me a Certificate of Deposit. Deep breath. Relax your torso.

What if my loved one leaves?
I’ll feel sad but I won’t die. Deep breath. Relax your lower extremities.

Now we are relaxed head to toe and can think clearly.

This seems like a rather simplistic look at life, but I it works. I’ve had, and still occasionally have, my brain and body in knots over both small and large events. However, once I decide to jump off the panic merry-go-round, take a few deep breaths and look at my situation with open eyes, I see small actions I can take. By making one decision then another I soon find myself in a new, better situation.

Mike Dooley said the same thing with different words:
“When a thing hurts your eyes, stop looking at it.
When it hurts your ears, stop listening to it.
And when it hurts your heart, stop justifying it.”

© by Sharon D. Dillon, February 15, 2015

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” or my humor posts, please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy”

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

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Gratitude on Memorial Day

“Patriotism is merely a religion – love of country, worship of country, devotion to the country’s flag, honor and welfare.”
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twin)

Message

A grateful thank you to all men and women who have served our country in times of war and peace is due every single day, not just on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. We must also extend gratitude to those who waited at home for their loved ones to return, hopefully the same strong young men and women who left to defend their country or protect another country’s right to exist. Honor all those who have answered their nation’s call, in whatever way that they could: Victory Gardens, assisting their neighbors, prayers for safety.

At the same time I yearn for the day we no longer hear those calls. Are we humans capable of living in peace? I think of songs we sing in church and contemplate their confusing messages: “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “I Ain’t Going to Study War No More.”

All religions teach peace. Often we greet each other by bowing and saying “Namaste,” or “The sacred in me greets the sacred in you.” Even shaking hands indicates that our hands hold no weapons. These behaviors are ingrained into our daily lives, yet we forget or disregard the meaning behind them. Is this dichotomy the reason so many of our returning veterans are committing suicide? We send them to war. The next day they are at home and expected to act like the horror never happened. We can’t forget violence in 24 hours.

Meditation

Spirit,
Mixed messages about peace and war assault us on all sides. On one hand we talk about war to impose peace. On the other we see the damage war has caused to the minds and hearts of all involved. Our holy books teach us peace. We ask that you implant a stronger desire for peace than we have for dissention.
And, so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

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