Sunday, January 19, 2014

Finding Myself: Heart of Fear to Heart of Focus

I watched "The Middle", the episode where Brick is very worried about all the bad things in the world. It was exaggerated, as all sitcoms are, but at the heart of his dilemma was the fear of not being in control.


This is probably the heart of my fears as well. All the posts about my fears before; the car accidents, the stinging insects, the natural disasters, are all things I cannot control. Just like Brick's fear of a kidnapper or break-in.

I was inspired by what he found to be a solution. His parents didn't understand it, but I did. He said he imagined the extreme; that his house was burnt down and his family were dead and he had nothing left but himself. Then he found a Buddhist quote that he didn't need to worry about things being broken or lost or stolen, because he needed to change his thinking. Things can be imagined broken in the first place. Then, if it happens, it seems like it was meant to be.

At the heart of it all was his life.

At the heart of it all is MY life.

Perspective.

Everything will fall and break at some point in our lives. We will fight with our spouse, have a bad day at work, get in a car accident, or lose our wallet. We can have back-up keys, jot down the numbers to call for identity theft or to get your ID and social security cards re-issued, and be insured so that accidents don't cost us extra and we can get a rental car or know from whom to borrow one. We can check the oven and door locks 6 times before leaving.If something happens, it was not our fault.

As long as I do what I can to keep myself safe, healthy, and happy, then no matter what comes, good and bad, I have done well. I can have pride in myself. I can stop worrying about the material things in my life, but instead focus on being as prepared as possible for tragedy to feel safe. This may not be courage, or bravery, but it is comforting.

That doesn't mean I give up. That doesn't give me a pass to not be my best. It means that I accept that my best is good enough, as good as I can do at the time, and if the goal is not reached, I keep trying. Because those crazy fears about losing things or not being good enough can consume me and sap the energy I need to push myself in all venues of my life. This could be teaching, parenting, working out, or being a good wife. I can't do it all at once, but I can do it all in turns.

I can celebrate the successes I do have, not matter how small. I can count my blessings.

I can focus on the things I can control like:
  • Quality of your work/job performance
  • Relationships with friends and family
  • Household chores
  • Income level
  • Involvement in your community
While many of you have stopped thinking about your resolutions by now, I find I am still reviewing and rewriting, editing and adding short-term goal steps into mine. Being the best ME I can be includes a shift of focus sometimes.

My 6 year old learned that word, 'focus' this year in school. He says it often to remind himself to do so. Perhaps this is the year of focus for all of us.
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