The other day I was driving next to a pickup truck that was flying two American flags. They flapped in the wind as we drove.
When we stopped, I noticed how beat up both flags were. The edges were tattered and torn from the wind.
I thought to myself, how could the wind do that? Then I laughed and thought about how the invisible forces in our lives wear on us the same way.
But really these forces aren’t invisible. We just distract ourselves with busyness. Intentionally or unintentionally ignoring what’s too hard to handle.
Things like fear. Not fear of seeing the doctor. That’s little fear. I mean big fear, like the fear that we may leave this world never having achieved the things we had hoped to.
That’s hard to imagine. That’s hard to think about. That’s hard to live with.
Over time that heaviness wears on us the same way the wind wears on a flag. That’s why we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to our big fear, our big sadness, our big depression or our big anger.
We’re got to acknowledge it.
When I was having panic attacks, I went to the hospital because I was afraid and didn’t know what was happening to me. I checked out ok, but the doctors asked if I had been overly stressed. I knew I was, but I kept busy and ignored it because I thought that’s what everyone did.
Just keep it moving and “git ‘er done”.
In hindsight, I was neglecting me. I was avoiding my big anxiety, my big fear, my big stress.
That’s a bad way to go about things because they always catch up to us. We can’t outrun the hard stuff.
Addressing our inner health is important. The first step is to recognize that.
From there, we each walk the path in our own individual way. I’m not quite sure how, but I know we have to be willing to try.
So please, check in with yourself. You’re too important to overlook.