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Healing Everday Anxieties with Wisdom from the Past
There is a knock at your door. To your surprise you find Buddha there on your porch with a big smile on his face. You are thinking to yourself, “What the hell does this guy want?”
You don’t understand why but you immediately feel warm and sense the need to welcome him into your home. You panic below the surface because your three year olds underwear and dirty socks are on the floor next to the Wii, and there are a pile of dishes in the sink. Buddha’s in the house and you are thinking, “What the heck?”
He takes you by your hand and sits you at your kitchen table. He is smiling. The kids are scrambling, yelling, half dressed and hair undone. He is still smiling.
The dog is barking outside,and you can hear your nutty neighbors arguing outside about the parking spots they each believe they own.The tv is on and the news is flashing images of the war across the screen.
You were expecting a call from mom. She is due back from the surgeons office and you wonder if its bad news.
You got another hang up call this morning, and you worry it might be a mistress looking for your prince charming. Your husband lost weight recently, got a tattoo, and for the first time in his life he makes certain his socks don’t smell. You want to tell Buddha, but he just keeps smiling.
The utility bill is overdue and you have gained a few pounds over the holidays. The damn dress you bought last week doesn’t fit anymore and you swear it has nothing to do with the bagels you eat every morning after you drop the kids off at school.
You are entering perimenopause and haven’t slept in months.
Your mother in law detests you and your brother in law too. They ignored you at another Sunday dinner and you have had a headache since.
The lady at the bank talks about you behind your back, and you forgot where you put your dead grandmothers ring. Guess what? Yep, he is still smiling.
The kids need to see the dentist, and you have four birthday parties you need to respond to. You have no clue what to cook for dinner, and the dry laundry has been sitting in the dryer for two days. He is still smiling.
You heard your uncle is doing very well. Depression is taking over. It might rain this weekend and you have a wedding to go to. Still have no clue who is going to babysit, but Buddha is still smiling.
You take a deep breath and begin to sink into your torn dining room chair. Something is happening to you on a cellular level, and it feels good, but what?
This Buddha guy has never said a word, but somehow you are beginning to understand why. Without words you know why he came to visit. He came to remind you of your truer self. The one that is falling under the spell of all the meaninglessness in your life, the stuff you can not control. You know, all the voices in your head.
Buddha came to visit so that he could reach into your soul, across the barriers of your physical eyes, to a place that is invisible yet more real than the Himalayas.
Buddha has reached into your soul, across the barriers of your eyes with smiles. He knew all of your woes and yet his grin never faded. He mirrored back to you peace rather than the chaos you believed you were experiencing. Anxiety in you slipped away as if it almost never existed at all.
Before long the energy around you began to relax. The kids went and got themselves dressed, and even combed their hair. The dog found his chew toy, and became content. Your mom called. She left a message on your answering machine. She said she loves you and will talk to you later. Buddha smiles wider.
Buddha has taught you all you need to know. He has taught you to embrace what is, to detach from what you believe your true worries are, and to align yourself with your deeper self. Your deeper self cares little about noise, disease, infidelity, or anxiety. Your true self lies beyond the ego, and the illusions this world creates to keep it thriving on greed.
Buddha has taught you how to let go of that crazy, paranoid, angry, immature voice in your head we call the ego.
Because we have not been taught to simply exist in the moment, in the now, in the present, we foolishly attach ourselves to outcomes rather than enjoy what is. We have learned that rather than accept that our children can be loud, we long for them to stop being loud. We attach ourselves to the outcome rather than experience time with them in the present.
This is what our untamed minds do. We want to control everything which is the root of all anxiety. When we learn to embrace what is instead, even if it is disease, infidelity, perimenopause or dirty laundry, life begins to flow rather than become abrasive.
Sadly in this society we crave outcomes in all we do. We want more money. We want to be loved by who we want to be loved. We want a better car, or a better pair of shoes. We want more sleep, more sex, more hair. We want cancer to never touch our lives or to have to deal with the pain of knowing our husbands have broken our trust. We want our kids to be smarter, prettier, quieter or kinder. We never stop wanting, which is why we are such a mess.
Buddha teaches us what Christ teaches us. To simply accept what is. The Bible tells us that worry does not add a day to our life. Buddha has come to remind us of that truth. The goal is not feel what we feel. The goal however is to accept what we feel, and then to release it and to continually seek to align ourselves with our true self, our holy selves.
If your life stopped in the next moment, where would your worries go? In ten years, what would be the significance of your sons dirty underwear on the floor, or even if your unfaithful husband ran off with the bimbo? In twenty years who would care about whether or not it rained on the day of the wedding, or if you attended every birthday invitation you received? In ten years however, you will care that you cared of such silliness at all.
Buddha has just come for a visit. How do you feel?