Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I need to try to quit writing depressing stuff. This bible verse has been rolling around in my mind for the past day or two...I think it might be from the book of Job: "That which I feared has come upon me". I don't think one needs to believe in a literal interpretation of the bible or to think it is divinely inspired in order to find value in it here and there. As ancient literature, some of what is in there is timeless and relates to all people regardless of faith. Let's see....I'll find it..

"For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me" (Job 3:25)

Honestly, that seems to be the story of my life. I think then of the philosophy espoused by some of my friends who are into New Age stuff, about how you visualize the stuff you want, believe in it, act as if it's going to happen, and it comes true. Sounded as if it were spoken by a scam artist ready to deliver a pitch to buy his book or attend his educational seminar to change! your! life!, so I pretty much discounted it. I've always thought that to get what you want, you have to visualize it, map out your goals into a step by step format, and then start working on it, trying not to get discouraged by setbacks. Notice how the people who say this sort of thing are always wanting to sell you on the things most desired and most difficult to get. The perfect (fill in the blank multiple times). Televangelists are another place where you see those wild promises without a guarantee.

However...I think that in this case, there made be some validity to this idea. Maybe when we get all wrapped up in and paranoid over what we're afraid of, it comes upon us not because of some sort of inscrutable unseen mystical law, but because we are unwittingly doing things to cause it to happen. Why would we do that? Why? Maybe because by focusing on what we are afraid of rather than what we would like to happen instead, our behavior is such that we act as if it is about to happen or already has. does. When small tremors of the dreaded thing or event start up, we hone right in on those. It gets worse. Then it happens and we're horrified and we say to ourselves, "I knew it! I knew this would happen! This is just what I was afraid of!" (At least, that's what I say to myself, while beating myself over the head for my stupidity in letting whatever it was happen to me).

Another example: I am phobic of snakes. I don't hate them, but they frighten me badly. I will freak over a dirty rope in the grass, or a black hose, or a curvy stick on a hiking trail. It is embarrassing. A rustle in the grass? Snake! So when we go hiking, or if I'm in a garden or anywhere where there is any chance of seeing a snake and I am accompanied by several boys who would love to play with a snake or at least see one, who do you think sees the most snakes, and sees them first? Yeah, me. I see more snakes than any person I know. This is because unlike the others, I am hyper-vigilant about snakes and they are never far from my mind. Rocks and boulders on a sunny day when the ground is still warm? Might be snakes out sunning themselves. My eyes and senses are highly attuned to exactly the sorts of places that a snake might be at any given time. Meanwhile, I don't get to see nearly as many spiders or bees or wasps as folks who are afraid of them, and that makes me kind of sad.

So my job is to quit hyper-focusing on stuff I am afraid of, on things that hurt, on looking for tiny, miniscule signs of impending pain, rejection, etc. I need to stop thinking that way.

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