Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Recap: Roller Derby and trying not to worry

This weekend I was plagued with a sort of anxious restlessness. Nothing felt right or comfortable. I couldn't relax or really enjoy anything. I don't like that feeling. 

My dad's side of the family had lunch to celebrate my aunt's birthday. But I felt worried, uncomfortable in my skin, overly self conscious. 

Some friends and I went to roller derby for the first time and it was pretty fun. But I couldn't enjoy it because I couldn't wait to do the next thing. And when we got to the next thing, I didn't enjoy it because I couldn't wait to do the next thing. It was one of those kinds of weekends. That's what I hate about anxiety; it seems to make it impossible to enjoy the moment. Your heart and mind are racing onto the next anticipated moment, in spite of yourself.

I remember once in grad school, as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep I was struck for the first time by a verse I had heard many, many times: Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life (or a single cubit to your height)? - Jesus in Matthew 6:27, NIV

The Bible frequently tells us not to worry, be anxious, or be afraid. But for some reason, the above verse really hit me: what good does worrying accomplish?! None! It is pointless. Do what you need to do to accomplish a task and prepare for an event and then, don't think about it anymore!

I know, easier said than done. But lately I've been feeling anxious about some upcoming events in my life and I've been trying to reason with myself. My plan of action is to...

1. Do the things I need to do to prepare for these events. 
2. When I'm not preparing for these events, don't think think about them. 
3. Enjoy the process of actually getting to these events AND the events themselves.  (In other words, STAY IN THE MOMENT). 

I wish I was better at this. I wish it wasn't a struggle. I wish I could serenely watch the roller derby skaters glide by, listen to the music, sip my drink, and be all there. Not thinking about what's going to happen next and what I'm going to do when I get home and what time I should set my alarm for and what I'm going to do after church the next day and the next evening and the next week, all the way to the next weekend. It's exhausting, pointless (I'll say again), and robs me of the moment. 

I have experienced living in the moment from time to time and it is a glorious experience - so calming and sincerely enjoyable. I always know I am successfully living in the moment when even the smallest things - the smell of coffee, a butterfly fluttering by - thrill me. I always know I'm not living in the moment when even the biggest things - a fun party, dinner with a dear friend - feel like something to get through so I can get on to the next thing. 

Anxiety has been one of the biggest struggles of my life. I pray by God's grace that I would be able to slow down my mind, live in the moment, and enjoy the present. 

It is so very difficult. 

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