Friday, October 2, 2009

Mental Convoy Stalls

A friend said something to me this morning that brought the convoy in my brain to a complete and utter halt. She said,

Serenity is a natural state of mind.”

Often we think that if we work our way through all our problems, we will finally find ourselves serene. This doesn’t work because there is always a litany of problems lining up. We will never be problem free on this earth.

Granted, the world is a curious and strange place. But what if worry was a learned perception? What if anxieties were subtlety rewarded over time by our families and teachers. Wouldn’t we think worry was normal? Mightn’t we feel kind of empty without it?

Our society seems to be a worry machine. Our worth is measured by the sweat on our brow; we are esteemed by our struggles. We have conversations that go like this; “oh yeah, well my worry is bigger than your worry”.

Worry, fear and anxiety are big business. On the news I am given at least 10 new things to fret about every day. We are out to prove that mental gymnastics will keep the chaos at bay and our world in some kind of order. Advertising probes the place of our insecurities. It’s clear how we don’t measure up and what we don’t have. For example, ‘If I just had the car, I’d have it made’ (read stress-free).

If our default mental outlook is set on anxiety, what then? It would be natural to assume that our mental axe would go on looking for something/anything to grind itself on. When I reflect back over my past five decades, what I notice is that most problems resolved themselves over time. Maybe its divine timing or maybe because people just figured something out, or somebody turned up out of the blue. I will guarantee that the world is not running smoother today because of my heavy emotional investment.

The point is, the world never sits up and flies right just because my mental monkeys hashed it over for a week. My mind may create strategies when it behaves itself, but it life never works just because of the worry I’ve invested into it. To be honest, most times when I finally gave up and said “uncle” the situation remarkably improved.

If we set working toward peace-of-mind as our highest goal, and we were to diligently align our thoughts to that focus, then perhaps life’s challenges would assume a manageable proportion.

Maybe we would find that serenity is a natural state of mind.


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