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Literature Your Columns Contest DON'T LET IT SCREW YOU UP


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In today's uncertain financial and world climate, unless your debts are paid and you have plenty of money set aside for contingencies, you feel like you're balancing on the edge of a knife blade.  It's embarrassing and disconcerting to realize that the slightest puff of wind can push you over, from feeling confident to feeling totally panicked.  If you're doing okay financially, you are still on that knife blade if you - or someone you love - is threatened by a serious illness….but it's even worse (if you can imagine that) for those who have no health insurance, or the means to pay for medical treatment. 


We're all sure that life didn't used to be like this.  How do we make it stop?  Or - if we can't make it stop - how do we find a new way to regain our balance?  We can't keep going on like this, indefinitely; the stress is killing us!


I think that we need to take a deep breath and consider realities.  First of all, if you're feeling fairly stable emotionally and physically, but then you hear a report on the news (or from your doctor's office, or from your bank or a creditor) that throws you abruptly into a panic - what, actually, has changed?  NOTHING, really; you've simply been given a piece of information that may or may not be accurate, and which may or may not have any appreciable effect on your life.  You are, in fact, exactly the same as you were five minutes before you got the news….except that NOW your mind is trying to convince you to feel weak, scared or sick.  DON'T LET IT DO THAT!  You wouldn't be so susceptible to negative suggestions if you felt more secure, with more resources to back you up.  So remember that God still loves you.  All of the resources that really matter - those elements that brought you into this world and allowed you to experience life in the first place - are still in play.


One of my favorite movie lines is from "What Dreams May Come."  Robin Williams' character has died and gone to the afterlife - with access to both heaven and hell - where he meets a wise and more experienced soul who has been there for a long time, played by Max von Sydow.  This spiritual guide, levitating before the vast library of all knowledge, advises him thusly: "You hear a lot of things, here.  Most of them are true.  DON'T LET IT SCREW YOU UP."


What is the message?  Regardless of whether the news is true or not, keep being who you are.  Stay calm, don't panic; panic will make you give up.  Take one thing at a time, and figure it out as you go along.  Keep breathing.  DON'T GIVE UP. 


Whatever effect the news may actually have on your life, you will find out as you go along.  And you will figure out what adjustments you need to make, in order to deal with it.  You WILL.  There is no doubt of that, for it is the basic law of survival. 


This is true, whether you get there by practicing Yoga and meditating, or by going to Church or Temple or Sacred Grove and praying.  You will use the modality for which you were designed - but be sure to use it.  It will guide you into the right mental state, and will help you to survive.





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Don't Let It Screw You Up!

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Truisms galore! I probably understand this message, because I've experienced tap dancing on the edge of that knife. Losing your wife & kids (divorce), & your career in the same week, with a payday-to-payday existance - can make you mean as Hell. A strong background, & a strong confidence can bring you back from defeat. Boy Scouts, YMCA, & athletics in general all played a part in recovery. A tennis short story that I read in high school has always been in my mind: "40 Love & Fight!" Helped me to win tennis tournaments, & to win against a lifetime of negative nuances. Plus the old ssying of "A Winner Never Quits!"
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