Saturday, January 15, 2011

fear

Last night, the wind started to blow. It was modest at first, but quickly gained speed and force. We've had a lot of water lately and the ground seems saturated. We live in a house surrounded by trees. These trees are beautiful and, for the most part, I feel a sentimental reverence toward them. On a clear and calm day, their green strength shelters us here. On a windy day, the same large presence feels ominous rather than protective.
Last night was a very windy night. We shuddered each time we heard a pick up in the wind or a groan. We tried to distract ourselves with a movie. I confess to praying a bargaining, fearful prayer to God while I nursed the baby to sleep. All night long, I worried over our decision to leave the baby in her room instead of bringing her to the safer side of the house where we sleep. I listened to the wind off and on throughout the night.
There was the greatest sense of relief when I woke up and realized that the wind had died down.
At some point in my life I heard the idea that when named, fear loses it's power. No matter how many times I named this one, the fear stayed strong. I must admit that I have been a worrier throughout my life. Not a terrible one, but one none the less. In the past, I always seemed to know when there was nothing to be done and found some calm in the midst of it all.
The accumulation of relationship (and people) in my life has actually had the effect of increasing my worry over silly things. I originally blamed this on postpartum hormonal adjustment. It was quite a ride. But now that I am through that phase, I wonder what it is that causes me to worry so. I suppose that when one has nothing to lose, one has nothing to worry about. Is it really true that the more love increases, the more there is to lose? I do not want this to be true for me. I want love to free me for more loving and risking and hoping. I'm still working on it, still loving and worrying.

1 comment:

Lyda said...

As a chronic worrier myself, I can certainly relate to this post, Jennifer. When Brian goes on business trips, sleep eludes me until he returns. This is irrational and silly as I used to be a road warrior and traveled all across the country by myself. I was also single and lived alone before I met Brian and managed to sleep alone at home just fine thank-you-very-much. But somehow changing from single-dome to couple-hood changed the dynamic and despite all manner of protesting from my rational mind, my emotional side refuses to listen. As I reflect on the conundrum, I have decided this is one of those both/and situations. Adding loving relationships both multiples the joy in your life and ups the ante - there is more at risk, more to lose, and more to fear. The good news is there is also more happiness, more fun, and more laughter. So I have been learning to live with the dichotomy because I would much rather have the relationship and make peace with the occasional anxiety over losing it than get a little more sleep without it...