I woke up at 5:30 this morning feeling rested, feeling good. I lay there for maybe 30 seconds before I started to worry. My spirit started to sink as fear, like lava from a volcano, slowly pushed away the good feelings.
Then I remembered.
I realized that in my negative thinking, I was slipping into a terrible start for the day. I mean, the heavy overcast skies outside were enough to dampen my spirit, let alone feed it with fears of the future.
Yeah, but! My magic magnifying mind screamed. What about the money you owe? What about the house payment? What about no guaranteed money coming in? Freelance work is iffy at times. What abo—-
Hey! Think differently!”
I jolted myself out of the negative hole I was digging and did a reality check. The house payment isn’t due for two weeks. Did I want to waste today and 14 more days worried about something that is not a demand of today?
Yeah, but.. . I’d been struggling with depression and had kinda boxed myself in. Kinda? I was stuck, obsessing about an old relationship, trying to figure out why it hadn’t worked. Sadness and some anger flashed, intensifying the pain of the obsession.
Then I thought about a couple of free-lance jobs that had fallen through and was trying to figure out why.
I was frustrated and couldn’t figure out why I was having great difficulty writing.
I had exhausted myself with my own insanity. Insanity for me is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
I fought back. Today’s reality is I have enough money. I have enough food. I have a car; I have gas. . . in the car. I kept listing what I had.
As crazy as it may seem, I stopped writing and shouted; “Thank you God. Thank-you for letting me feels better, for letting these words flow. For the feelings I get when the words come.”
Gratitude sure helps.
I laughed and called my friend, Father Jack. He’s an alcoholic, you know. A recovering Catholic priest with 14 years of sobriety, of the good life, as he puts it.
“Come on over, ” he said.
Now, I’m not exactly the most comfortable guy in a religious atmosphere. As I sat in the dark, wood paneled lobby of the retreat center, waiting, I thought about my yesteryear battles with the nuns of Sacred Heart Grade school.
God, I’d been stubborn and resistant to authority.
“Come on in.” The voice broke my thoughts. It was Father Jack. He was smiling.
Sitting in his small office, two pictures of a laughing Jesus on the wall, I unloaded. I was feeling hopeless. When I stopped he said,
“Think differently, “ he repeated.
“ Stop trying to figure everything out. You don’t have to figure everything out. Give it up and surrender, you’re killing yourself.”
Think differently! My God, I thought, he’s right.
“Yeah, but. . . I mean, I know where some of the fear comes from. I know what happened when I was a boy that triggers, I know—-
“Jerry, ” he said and smiled. “ Think differently. Stop trying to figure it out.”
“ I hear you, thanks.”
The lesson was clear. When the negative future started knocking I’d been sucked in until I started to think differently. Then it all changed-. I changed it. I used the power I have.
So, if you’re stuck in tomorrow with fear or are having regrets of yesterday, you just might want to—
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