Be honest, we’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning after a seemingly uneventful night, and your mind is filled with dread.
No dreams that you can remember to start the negative thoughts – you haven’t even had time to check the latest news story – yet your mind is buzzing with all manner of negativity. “I can’t believe Mom blamed me for that, when it was clearly done by my step-sister!” (in 1982.)
On and on the thoughts churn: “Did I hurt her feelings when we were 7? Well, what about yesterday when she hurt mine?” “How could he have said that? It was an outright lie!”
One thought breeds the next, traveling back and forth through time faster than the Delorean in Back To The Future and, before you know it, you’re just plain angry. And you have no idea why! Now, not only are we thinking of every wrong we may have committed, and all that were committed against us, we are also beating ourselves up in the present day. “Where is this coming from? I just woke up! Holy crap, is this the kind of day it’s going to be? I might as well stay in bed. This sucks. I hate Thursdays.”
I recently had a day like this – they happen more often than I care to admit – and I am pretty tired of them. The most recent day was overwhelming. For a minute. And then I decided to do something about it.
I have always been a happy person. I prefer to give others the benefit of the doubt even if, as happens on occasion, it is to my own detriment. Obviously I, like everyone, prefer not to be hurt. But if it is inevitable, I would rather suffer pain than inflict it. I have been dubbed “The Silver Lining Girl” by more than one person. “I’m so sorry to hear that you broke your toe! I’m glad your foot is okay!” I have a bad habit of apologizing for things which are outside of my control (I’m getting better at that!). When I was young, I would take accountability for others’ actions to keep them from getting in trouble (totally done with that!), thinking I was protecting them in some way.
Even when my anxiety was screaming that I’m not good enough, even when I gave in to that anxiety and agreed with it, I always found a Silver Lining. “I’m not the prettiest, but I am pretty on the inside. I am kind. I care about people. I would never intentionally hurt another. I take accountability for my actions. I may not be good enough for you, Brain, but I am good enough for God…and I will continue to become better.”
Over the last few years, I have become less of a Silver Lining seeker. My beautiful daughter became the victim of sexual assault – twice in a matter of months; I lost the best job I ever had while dealing with her rapist and his court dates, even the DA handed the case off seconds before he faced the judge, so justice was not done in this case. My faith in humanity began to wane. My mantra became “I want to be a Hermit Crab!” This was not the Me that I was proud of.
A year or so ago, I went on a real search of that Becca from the past. The grateful Becca who could say, at the very least, that she was good enough for God.
About ten years ago, I read a book series called “Conversations With God” by author Neale Donald Walsch. His personal story is not mine to tell, and more involved than I want to get here, but I would encourage you to read this series if you have not.
The first book, put simply, is filled with God’s answers to some of Neale’s personal questions. It is this book with which I most personally identify and relate. Fortunately for me, Neale does not just write books. He is determined to share his experiences with the world, in an effort to let everyone know that we are, indeed, “good enough for God” no matter who we are. He has online courses – some free, some not – that further explore the Conversations With God series and other observations.
It was one of these courses last year that, along with other things, taught me how to deal with these dreadful, sometimes debilitating attacks from my Morning Anxiety Brain.
“Every morning, the moment you rise”, he said, “say this one thing: Thank You, God, for another day, and another chance to be my Highest Self”.
Hubby and I have been doing this since we first heard it, although it took a bit to get used to saying it “the moment you rise”. In the beginning, we usually remembered at some point during our ride to work together. But we soon got in the habit; the last snooze alarm goes off, Hubby reaches for my hand and we close our eyes and say it together. A new day, a new chance to do better than yesterday. A fresh start. Thank You, God.
So, when Anxiety Brain kicked in this last time, while waiting for the last snooze alarm and Hubby’s hand, I simply said “STOP. This is not going to define my day. I have a new chance to make a positive difference and nothing is going to take that away from me.”
And then the alarm. I took his hand…and we prayed. Nothing invaded my ability to help others that day. And nothing ever will again. Goodbye, Anxiety Brain. Good morning New Day. Good mourning Soul. Good morning, God.
All the love,