Words| The List

A few years ago I developed a habit. When things went wrong I would take a long walk and try to think things through. That used to help. Take time to look at everything objectively. People call it clearing your mind. Not sure that’s what I was doing, but usually after the walk I felt a lot better.

Sadly sometimes the long walks didn’t help. Whatever was on my mind had stayed there and I was as anxious, as worried or as stressed as before. So what to do? That’s when I came up with the meetings.

When the walk didn’t help I’d get into a dark room where I’d hold a meeting with me myself and I. We’d discuss everything and come up with a solution. Sounds crazy right? Well you try it. Just put all those thoughts in your mind both positive and negative into words.

A lot of the time hearing how ridiculous those negative thoughts sound put a smile on my face. The best way to describe it is when you shine the light on a shadow that scares you it disappears.

For a long time this method worked for me. When I felt overwhelmed I just took a walk and when that didn’t work I held the meeting.

Last night none of these worked. I took a long walk. All that happened was I got really tired. So I held the meeting. Probably the most disruptive meeting ever. In the end ‘our meeting’ was adjourned as we couldn’t find a solution to the issues at hand. There was too much anxiety. Too many things were going wrong. Actually the only conclusion ‘we’ could come to was everything was going wrong.

Not knowing what to do, I turned the lights on frustrated. Then I heard a whisper. ‘Take a piece of paper. Write down everything that’s going wrong’. You’d think I would ask, ‘Who said that?’. Instead I decided to try it out.

So I grabbed a piece of paper and started scribbling away. I wrote as fast as I could. I didn’t even get to half the page when I was satisfied I had put down everything I thought was a problem. Then the same whisper came back. ‘Now turn the page. Write down everything you’ve got going for you’.

‘Nothing much’, I answered emphatically. That’s when images started flooding my mind. During my walk I passed an ice cream vendor. After a while it started to drizzle. It was already cold meaning the man hadn’t sold much and now that it’s drizzling it means he probably won’t sell any more. I happened to share a shelter with a disabled beggar. I dropped some coins into his begging bowl and didn’t think much of it. But now in my house I began to wonder how he got home. The roads are probably muddy, he wasn’t dressed warmly so if he catches a cold the coins I gave him might be spent on medication. And where does he live.

As I kept writing my list, I realized I needed another piece of paper. While there are things that are going wrong in my life today. There’s a lot more going right. Unfortunately in my selfish ambition I focused more on what I was complaining about instead of being thankful for what I had.

Looking back to my list I realized, alot of what I was worried or anxious or complaining about were things I had no control over. So I came up with so many possible scenarios of how they could go wrong yet they could go right.

Worry in truth is the highest form of arrogance and contempt towards GOD. The subliminal message or insinuation is ‘You don’t seem to know what you are doing so let me handle it’. Fear and worry have never accomplished much. Conversely, look at how much man has been able to accomplish through faith and the power of positive thinking.

Today I can comfortably quote Whitney Houston, ‘We are not afraid though there is much to fear’.

Its a good thing the walk and the meeting failed cause now I have the list.

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