Dear Serenity Blaze,
You're not supposed to handle this well. I'm not your kind of religious, but I'm highly respectful of a personal and compassionate God. This is another kind of birth process, I believe, but without the physical pain. Many are the parents who have told me that they wish they could substitute physical pain for the fears and anxieties of this particular stage of life. I haven't heard you say so, but I'd be willing to bet the thought may have crossed your mind. It doesn't hurt us to look for what a loving and compassionate God is trying to help us with in His Wisdom here. No offense to my non-believing friends,
but I think for you it's a fair question.
I think that as God puts women through the pain of childbirth to help them bond to that child forever after in a way that no other experience could ensure; that He has offered the gift of this particular anxiety and worry to you, for you to deal with, so that you might see how precious this coming independence will be for both of you. And so that you, in particular, will value it for the gift it is. This independence is not only God's gift to your child, but God's gift to you as well.
You can never erase that original bond forged in the pain of birth, nor really the bond forged in the raising of a child. A different and I hope equally precious bond is
being forged here. These bonds, all of them, are meant to be carried lovingly through life, I believe. To try to cast them off seems entirely understandable; we are human. It is difficult to joy in every burden we carry with us through every moment of our lives.
Fortunately, a compassionate God seems to have stacked the deck. We need these pains and fears and anxieties. They make our relationships more solid and more real. They make the progress we make in those relationships into something of actual spiritual value for us as well as everyday human emotional value.
If we feel overwhelmed by anxieties from time to time, we may be having a problem, not with our anxieties, but with the attention we pay to the rest of our lives. Are we willing to acknowlege the rest of the world's bounties and God's gifts, or have we closed ourselves off from them. Our anxiety is, after all, not the only gift we have been given. We have been given a world that is brimming with laughter, should we only look for it, or notice it when we come across it. We have been given a world filled with friends, should we be willing to put the effort into treasuring them and allowing them to treasure us in return. We have been given a world filled with everyday tasks that require our attention. It is very very difficult to feel anxious while doing an exacting job of washing the dishes. It's difficult to feel anxious if you're actually paying attention to weeding the garden. If you're feeling only anxiety, you're not looking as closely at the garden as you should be. You aren't seeing all the weeds and you don't understand all the plants that need pruning. You're not seeing the garden at all. You've ignored the gifts of God's world to pay attention only to God's gift of anxiety.
The idea is that feeling over-anxious means you need to start adding things to your schedule that bring your attention into the good world that God gave you. And Ms Serenity Blaze, these are simply the beginnings of the things you can do. These are the everyday things. I may not share your exact belief in God, but the what matters is your personal God's belief in you, and your willingness to meet Him and to accept his bewilderingvly large range of bounty.
All my best, BobK