What Helps Me with Worry and Anxiety

You’re watching a ball role down a hill from the side. It’s a snowball and it’s tumbling down down down.

It’s not only tumbling down, it’s getting bigger and bigger as you descend down the hill watching this snowball not only increases in mass, but also in speed and momentum.

Until… http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Avalanche_on_Everest.JPG

Power of the Imagination

What happens next? That’s for the imagination to figure out.

And that’s how worry tends to role in my mind.

Worry feeds my imagination. My imagination feeds my anxiety.

I don’t get overwhelmed to the point of paralysis, but it can take its toll on me.

Through the years when I have faced a particularly difficult day while working as chaplain and people suffering greatly in their own bodies or facing the death of loved one — or when my own personal life is in some crisis — I have found a way to cope.

It brings genuine joy and genuine peace. Really.

This is What Helps Me

But I am going to tell you, it’s precisely my beliefs in the afterlife that do this for me. I counter all the imaginings of all the bad that could happen (thus creating more anxiety) with other imaginings of the future Day when all will be restored.

  • Just yesterday I was working outside and saw a small flock of birds flying above the green grass and I imagined the new earth with immense flocks of beautiful birds nearly everywhere with their wings singing. It made me smile on the inside.
  • Have you ever gazed at a sunset or sunrise? My son and I had a offbeat conversation a few months ago about perhaps there’s a planet out there somewhere and no matter where you go on it, there’s always a beautiful sunrise or sunset (which would it be?). Yes, we’ll travel to a thousand other worlds infinitely different than ours.
  • What about a time — anytime in your life — when you had the sweet fellowship and simple joy of a meal with people you love? Now imagine that feeling of joy, laughter and peace and you’re sitting at a table that goes on for miles. Everyone is full of happiness. No one is hungry. There is no roof, just the open air. The food is perfect and the fellowship is sweet. It goes on for days and weeks. It’s a wedding feast.
  • Have you ever spent even a few seconds under water? It’s so peaceful and quiet. I never have, but I would love to go snorkeling or diving. Imagine doing that for hours and exploring the deepest waters and it’s not cold and dark but alive with schools of the most sparkling fish and sea creatures you’ve never seen!

Or how about the sweetest moment of surrender? Surrender to love. Submission and the peace of release that washes over you in the arms of your lover. Or a brother. Or a friend who loves you just as much. Maybe you’ve never had any of those. But there will be a Day when one man will be all of those. He will hug you and you will embrace him. You will fall at his feet and worship and he will lift you up and look you in the eye. Do you see him, just in front of you? His smile? His compassion. His understanding. His welcome to…to home.

Slowly Use Your Imagination

I realize our words and imaginations cannot do justice to what is to come, but believe me, when you even get a glimpse into that coming time worries of this life seem to pale in comparison. Close your eyes and slowly use all the senses and emotions with the possibilities of that Day.

Real life comes, life as it was meant to be. When we truly have no more tears or pain or sorrow. Or anxiety.

I’m Wondering: What do you imagine in your mind or with your feelings for the next life that could help you in this life?