When we start taking responsibility for our own lives, we must be prepared for the anxiety that will come rushing in. This does not mean that we are doing something wrong or that we are bad people. What it means is that we are doing something different.
Here’s a different spin on anxiety from Thomas Merton (hang with the quote, it starts out sounding bad, but wait for the good news): “Now anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked. And there is a far worse anxiety, a far worse insecurity, which comes from being afraid to ask the right questions – because they might turn out to have no answer. One of the moral diseases we communicate to one another in society comes from huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question we are afraid to ask.”
Please pause with me for a moment while I sit with envy over that last beautifully constructed sentence.
Ok, so here’s the deal. We are currently the richest, fattest, most depressed and addicted country in the land. We eat so many opiates on a daily basis that there are now commercials on television touting the benefits of a new drug to help opiate users poop. I am sorry to be graphic, but it is what it is.
We. Must. Start. Doing. Something. Different.
We cannot keep on keeping on lazily flowing with the tide of our typical solutions to life. These are the ones that are common place and all our friends understand: self-medicating, putting on our happy faces and pretending life is fantastic when it is not, making up Facebook lives when what we’re really living is more like reality television.
It’s time to take responsibility for the life we are living and maybe along the way we will provide an alternative viewpoint for others to consider. If we learn to accept a more authentic definition of the abundant life without having to take meds to do what the body will naturally do if we live as people who learn how to live with anxiety, purpose and meaning.