Tag: fear

Facing Your Fears and Appreciating Your Life

 

As I quietly meditated yesterday morning, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a giant wave of anxiety. I knew precisely what it was about, and I wanted nothing to do with it.

In a couple of weeks, I will begin chemotherapy, and I had been so brave and centered about the whole thing. And then my fears suddenly showed up and the last thing I wanted to do was face them. I have much to be thankful for, and up until that moment I was leading my usual life. I anticipate experiencing much joy in the next couple of weeks, especially celebrating Passover with the @iwe family. So fear was completely unacceptable.

And then I remembered an ancient and wise teaching. Many people believe that when fear and anxiety show up in our lives, we need to stuff them away, defeat them and move on. I used to believe that was the best strategy; I could ignore the fear and make believe it just didn’t exist. It’s just that deep anxiety has a mind of its own, and is determined to be acknowledged, no matter how hard we try to ignore it; it will continue to rear its ugly head until we face it. So as I sat quietly, I allowed myself to be swamped by that anxiety. I felt its intensity, its demands for my attention, its power. I didn’t indulge it with devastating ideas or conjure up negative outcomes. I simply sat with it. And within moments, it began to dissipate. Anxiety had been acknowledged, which is all it asks for; it really has no interest in wounding my heart or maintaining its strength. In another few moments, I could once again feel the solace and sweetness of my meditation. And time moved on.

Vaccines are Coming: Sign Me Up!

 

If it were up to Zeke Emmanuel, were I to catch the coronavirus he’d probably just let me die. I am, after all pretty close to his cut-off date for saving old people who are ill. He might be skeptical about my receiving the vaccine, too, since it was developed under the Trump administration. Yet I am encouraged and excited about the prospects of this vaccine, and am hopeful that we can continue to get our arms around this disease. Our first responders and related occupations should be the first to get the vaccines.

Unfortunately, the vaccines for coronavirus have been so heavily politicized that I should have no trouble finding a place in line to get the vaccination; many people in this country want to take a wait-and-see approach to vaccinations since people like me might die from the vaccine. Or they are anti-vaxxers who object strenuously to vaccinations. Others are suspicious because vaccines are being developed under Operation Warp Speed, although the Pfizer vaccine was developed without government funds. Then you have the government leaders who are determined to make sure the vaccine fails. It’s difficult for me to believe that their resistance is all about Trump, since I’m fairly confident that he hasn’t interfered with the vaccine developers. But you won’t convince New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:

The government has sent states a data sharing agreement asking for information such as age, sex, and race of someone who gets the vaccine. While Governor Cuomo says the state will reveal that data, it won’t release the other details such as passport numbers and Social Security numbers. The governor believes that information would be used to deport undocumented immigrants, a claim the White House is denying.

Quote of the Day: Remus Lupin on How Voldemort Took Over the Ministry of Magic

 

Background: Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger just narrowly escaped (warned by Ron’s father work works at the Ministry of Magic, warning that the Ministry has fallen to Voldemort) from Death Eaters who crashed the wedding of Ron’s brother Bill to Fleur Delacour, looking for Harry.  They managed to make it to Harry’s Godfather’s house (Sirius Black, who was murdered and willed the house to Harry), and have learned from the House-elf Kreacher that Sirius’s brother, Regulus, stole a Horcrux from Voldemort’s hiding place.

They receive a visit from Remus Lupin, a werewolf, Member of the Order of the Phoenix, and sometime professor at Hogwarts, and he tells them about all the changes happening in the Wizarding World, and at the Ministry, now that Voldemort is essentially in charge.  Do these changes remind you of anything?

Trapped in Fear

 

As I write this essay, I don’t even know if I’m going to post it. I only know my heart is aching and I can’t make the pain go away. It’s one thing to know that Americans are suffering due to their fear of Covid-19 and the propaganda that has been promoted throughout this country; it’s another to see a friend suffering from a fear that she is unwilling or unable to overcome.

I have known this woman for more than ten years. She is a Leftie. We learned a long time ago that there is no point in discussing politics. She is smart and sweet and is a down-to-earth person in so many ways. She developed a wonderful program to help children learn to read by bringing dogs into the learning process. And she’s been a good friend.

The War of All Against All…

 

…or How the Governments Multiplied Their Power by Destroying the US Economy to Fight the Wuhan Coronavirus

The United States has seen epidemics of new and old diseases many times in the past. The so-called Spanish Flu infected 500 Million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920, claiming between 17 and 50 million lives (figures vary, because governments around the world censored their information reaching the public). About 105 million people were infected in the United States, with 500,000-850,000 deaths.

Member Post

 

We have a country mired in fear, and I keep reading that the fear is getting worse almost everywhere. I started to think about the reasons fear is the emotion we go to so readily, when it is so unpleasant, debilitating and even paralyzing. The easy answer is that’s what human beings do. Fear is […]

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It’s Trump’s Fault!

 

It’s bad enough that we have to question just about everything the media tells us. They refuse to report the facts on the cities being trashed by rioters, characterize federal law enforcement in cities as the actions of a dictator, and one of the latest insults came from Nancy Pelosi calling COVID-19 the “Trump Virus.” I guess I should have seen that one coming; we’ll probably hear the media saying it’s only right to name it after Trump, since he appears to be regularly calling the virus the “Chinese Virus.” You know, tit-for-tat.

Lately I’ve been especially concerned about the distortions that the media is promoting regarding COVID-19. I’m perplexed at their willingness to mischaracterize just about everything about the virus: how children respond to it, which children are spreaders, whether schools should be re-opened, which drugs are effective and how they are best used, death and hospitalization rates versus cases. They try to create the most alarming narrative that they can, and people are terrified. It’s one detestable thing to lie about things that Trump has said and done, but why would they be terrorizing the American public, when people are literally concerned about who will live or die?

Commiserating on Mortality

 

At 7 pm on Tuesday evenings (if we don’t get afternoon showers), some of the ladies in our neighborhood get together to visit. We are all seniors. Usually six to ten of us show up with our lawn chairs and preferred drinks, sit in one neighbor’s driveway six feet apart without masks, to talk about the news of the week. I’ve been avoiding the group for weeks; I’m not much of a social creature anyway and don’t especially like small talk, but they are very nice women. I’d like to believe that it makes sense to maintain a warm relationship with them, however limited.

Unfortunately, on my last visit a few weeks ago, the conversation inevitably turned to the coronavirus. Almost all of them do the mask/glove/sanitation/wipes routine to the extreme (in my opinion), no matter where they go. At the last gathering I attended, our voices became so loud that one of the husbands came out of his home to see if a brawl had broken out. I was the one guilty of causing the volume escalation; I was trying to explain my reasons for refusing to wear a mask everywhere, and suddenly everyone had to (loudly) express their alarm. (I did not say anyone should follow my lead.) I refused to be shouted down, and, well, it got noisy. One woman said her husband had a periodic bout with cancer, and she would never want to go somewhere and pick up the virus, exposing him to it. She was clearly insinuating that I was dooming my husband to certain death* since he has a lung condition (I know she was trying to make me feel guilty since I said that my husband supported my decisions and clearly did not feel I was endangering his life, and she wouldn’t look me in the eye.) When it was time to go home, we all parted with friendly words, but the tension was still in the air.

Member Post

 

” The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and communities. The tempest lays bare […]

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Confessions of a Googlechondriac in the Age of Covid

 

“I’ll just stay here until this blows over… when were these sheets washed?”

Once you get on the back nine of life, you start looking over your shoulder. The space between doctor visits is measured in weeks and months and not years. The pharmacist starts to know you by name. And every achy area, any spot of discoloration, every spot of blood becomes a harbinger of doom.

Arguably, the internet is both the hypochondriac’s best friend and his worst enemy. There are dozens and dozens of medically themed websites with comment boards that are loaded up and ready to scare the crap out of you. “Dude?! Blood on your toothbrush? My wife’s uncle’s third cousin had that and he was dead of bone cancer in his jaw in three weeks! Three weeks!

Member Post

 

The term “new normal” shows up in all the media, although it’s used to describe many different conditions. Some people use the term to describe the disturbing changes that have been made in the current environment. Government, industry, the culture and even individuals have been called to step up to mitigate and manage the corona […]

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Member Post

 

I was doing pretty well for a while. Heck, we even had pizza delivered yesterday. But now I’ve learned that a couple of people from our 55+ development are in the hospital just across the street with COVID-19. I have a pretty reliable source. And I hate the idea of giving in to fear. Here […]

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Member Post

 

In my last post, I wrote about the large number of corona-virus posts we were seeing on Ricochet. I do realize that is my own problem and no one else’s, but a part of me wonders what this obsession about this deadly virus might say about our culture. The usual explanations for this fascination make […]

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Fear and Panic in Florida

 

My husband and I must be the only two seniors who embrace sanity over panic. We live in a 55+ community, where many people have pre-existing conditions or simply don’t take care of themselves. To deal with their anxiety regarding the COVID-19, they feel they have to do something. They’ve decided to shop. When we went to do our weekly shopping, you would have thought that a five-force hurricane was offshore bearing down on us. Shelves were cleared of bottled water, milk, and toilet paper. I’m not sure why they’ve gotten toilet paper, but I guess for those of us who are spoiled Westerners, toilet paper is a necessity.

We walked through the store, shaking our heads. I hope those people are feeling more at ease. I doubt it.

The fact is, the mystery and uncertainty of the COVID-19 virus are terrifying to people. They go to their worst-case scenario: we’re all going to die. Dead people will be lying in the streets, and those of us remaining will trip over their corpses. Those frightened people won’t tell you how they feel, but at a subconscious level I’m pretty sure that the fear and panic reaches those extreme levels.

We’re All Afraid

 

Fear is a normal state in human beings. At one time another, we’ve all experienced it. Soldiers know fear when they dive from bullets; some of us know fear when we need to drive on black ice; others experience fear when our children are seriously ill. We’ve all known fear.

Fear should also be a temporary state. It heightens our senses and awareness to notice when our safety or well-being is threatened; once the emergency passes, however, our bodies, for the most part, should return to a “normal state,” which is different for each person.

Silly Fears

 

All of us, regardless of how brave and rugged we may appear to others, have to deal with fears of all sorts throughout our lives. This post is about a fear I experienced. At its core, I think the fear I’ll be describing was about my being able to make it through what is a rite of passage in modern life: obtaining a Driver’s License and becoming a legal car driver.

At the time (late 1960s/early 1970s) and place (California) one could secure a Learner’s Permit at age 15-1/2 and a Driver’s License at age 16. The Learner’s Permit allowed you to drive a car only if you were accompanied by a responsible adult, while the Driver’s License allowed you to drive a car without any such restriction.

Member Post

 

This may not be the place, but I have a half-baked theory I want to throw out there, since the left is pursuing the reconstruction of our language. (Starting with all conservatives being on the Hillary list of phobics culminating in “deplorables.”)  Here goes: We are inundated with these references, and once “racist” started to […]

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The Reality: There are no Solutions

 

My mind is reeling and my heart is aching, not only from the shootings that have just occurred, but the flood of solutions that people are proposing. We are all desperate for solutions. We want to be able to live in this world feeling safe. We want to know that we can go to Walmart and not have to look over our shoulders. We want to be happy, live peacefully and know that we don’t have to live in fear.

The truth, as hard as it is to admit, is twofold and paradoxical: there are no solutions to gun violence and we don’t have to live in fear.

I Just Read ‘The Great Good Thing’

 

When Ricochet member @andrewklavan posted about his new book called The Great Good Thing – A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ, I was curious. I was curious why he took a little flack from a few Jewish members of Ricochet when he posted about his new book, who didn’t feel he gave Judaism a fair shake. But that’s not why I ordered the book.  As a Christian, I was born into the faith, but came to a more personal faith backward and sideways, sometimes kicking and screaming. I was curious to hear about another person’s journey of faith – was it worse than mine?

So I ordered it and threw it up on my bookshelf for another day.  Published in 2016, I am three years late in picking it up, but not really. I read it at the perfect time. There are times in a person’s life when a book like this is profound and quite frankly, more appreciated, than other times. The recent deaths of people I love and thoughts about mortality and immortality flowing through my mind, rapidly changing world events, including challenges to people of faith, especially Christians and Jews, with the dramatic rise in antisemitism, religious persecution across the world, and the upcoming peace talks in Israel made it the right time.

This book is a story of a soul – we’re all born with one, and Andrew Klavan, an atheist at one time, then an agnostic, could not shake this truth. His awareness seemed to start at around eight years old. Then there was the abusive father, along with the distant mother. In the midst of great suffering, somehow his spirit was never extinguished. I am amazed at how some people can put in words what cannot be put in words. It’s like he turned himself inside out. Andrew Klavan found the words to hold his heart and soul out to the world, that others might find comfort. This book teaches how fragile children are, how innocent, and how parents especially, form their mental and emotional health and well-being.