You know, I was all set to write about fishing–to tell you about simple pleasures, bringing my kids out to the lake, etc. I even had a cute picture of my youngest holding her first ever cast-out-on-her-own-and-reel-it-on-in catch.
But driving home from my in-laws, where we spent Easter, I started to think about the sorts of things that usually occupy my mind–the worries and anxieties that mostly take the form of: keep a look out–something bad is coming to take this all away! I’m not sure exactly where that feeling comes from; it’s not as though I had a childhood wracked with privation or trauma. Maybe some hours of therapy would help me get to the root cause, I suppose, but what struck me tonight–what I really felt, and not just understood–was that the vast majority of my daily suffering and discomfort is entirely of my own making.
I keep waiting for the proverbial second shoe–but the truth is, I imagined the first one.
Please don’t get me wrong. I know suffering is real; and I have been witness to heart-breaking loss. And of course I have suffered, and I know that at some point I will suffer again.
But what dawned on me tonight is this: it’s not just my wants and desires that I grasp too tightly. It’s my fears and anxieties as well.
So tonight, for a moment, I felt what it might be like if I were to free myself from self-made phantoms and fears. And it felt serene.
More likely than not, the anxieties and worries will creep back in. But with practice, I might just be able to hold them a bit more loosely…and then remember to just let go.