Monday, January 3, 2011

The End of Anxiety

It sometimes seems that our society has been built upon one single, driving-like-stinging-rain, relentless, underlying principle: BE ANXIOUS!

About everything.

Is your hair too fizzy?

Is your belly too flabby?

Is your belly feeling fizzy?

Is your hair flopping flabbily?

Do your flip-flops feel frumpy?

Does your face look fat?

Do your feet feel frictous?

Have your foes gotten friendly?

Have your friends become too familiar?

And, of course, [most importantly] how much money do you have?

The endless cycle of anxiety is played according to these following steps:

1) Be convinced you are not good enough

2) Buy products to help you become good enough

3) Do what other people tell you that you need to do to become good enough

4) Worry about whether or not you are (finally) good enough

The truth is much simpler--yet a heck of a lot harder to hear. It's this: the whole thing isn't even about being good enough. The anxiety we feel when we wonder whether or not we're good enough comes from images to which we compare ourselves, others to whom we compare ourselves, and messages under which we allow ourselves to be crushed.

Instead of playing the games which are constantly garnering new support, why not make this year your END OF ANXIETY year?

Just this morning, Jennifer read a sentence aloud from a sweet book, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. The line, essentially, said that the beginning of anxiety is the end of faith.

I can see how that's true. Once we start believing the limitless messages we're told about who we are supposed to be, and what we should be doing, we stop believing in ourselves, God, hope, love. We instead turn to find some kind of reason to exist which lays outside of the real pulse.

Our conversations with our souls, and with one another, should we be willing to enter into real dialogue, might begin more like a game of charades. (For a beautiful rendition of how Jennifer and Tyler had a charades-like conversation, check out this blog post of Jen's here.)

But the more we try to really listen to one another, and really talk, we find that we don't really want to mimic the advertisements we see, or the idea that buy, buy, buy! is what it's all about.

No, I think we're all after something a little more authentic, a little more profound,and a little more natural.

We're after people who will look us in the eye and see us as we are:no more, no less. Then, we'd like to laugh with those people, cry with those people, dance with those people,l hope with those people.

In fact, there's no better definition of life that I know of.

So as this new year gets rolling along, why not pronounce anxiety's funeral, and try playing a game of charades or two while you look into someone's eyes? If nothing else, you'll save a butt-load of cash.