He called me in the middle of the night. He was hot, no he was cold. His eyes hurt.
I lifted my youngest child up and put my lips to his head, the only way to know if someone has fever, my mother always said. His little forehead was burning up.
I smoothed back his hair and he put his thumb back in his mouth and fell back into a deep sleep.
Lying beside him I felt his hot little breath on my cheek and he stretched his other hand out and lay it on mine.
My mind was racing. He already had the flu two weeks before. His breathing was faster than usual; I reminded myself that fever often does this.
He was mumbling in his sleep and I started to run through my stories of every child at the moment that they were most ill.
I felt a tension in my stomach, my eyes were wide open and the start of a great fear was creeping up my spine.
I lay awake for a long time. I imagined all kinds of scenarios and all kinds of outcomes.
It was a night of creative imaginings…a kind of self-imposed journey through the scariest ride in the park. It left me exhausted, anxious and deflated.
My experience that night had no connection to reality.
My night of lost sleep was no true reflection of my child’s health.
My indulgent imaginings had cost me a night’s sleep and perhaps some grey hairs.
No harm done, right?
No, not right. This is a slippery slope.
When we allow ourselves to worry needlessly about anything, we simply create a story that does not need to be told.
The story of ill-health or difficult finances or a failing business has its place when it is routed in real experience. And even then I often question the motive for telling and retelling stories that are often disempowering and self- actualizing.
In reality, our fears can always overtake us. There are hundreds and thousands of things to be frightened of if we choose to.
There are a ton of ways to not do something because there may be a less than desirable outcome.
There is evidence everywhere of unexpected change, failure and disaster.
But, there is a choice.
And it is simply this.
What reality do you want to live in?
What if you simply choose to feel the fear, acknowledge where it comes from and let it go?
What if you simply choose to live in a place of positive expectation?
What if it’s as easy as this – you just choose to believe that all is well and what is, simply is.
If we give into the fear of the bad thing that could happen, we create a story that gets us stuck. We get frozen by the “might-be”s and “what if”s of fear. We stop living.
That night my son slept on and off as the fever did its work. He awoke the next morning feeling weak but well. He sat down and ate a huge breakfast and then asked if it was okay if he could go to playschool.
My thoughts were much more serious and debilitating than the reality of his ill-health.
My assumptions and fears gave the most pain and stress in this situation.
This is usually the case.
When we spend sleepless nights worrying about our business success, we are creating the debilitating and stressful stories of failure.
When we worry incessantly about our loved-one’s health or our relationships, we are creating the stories of dysfunction, sadness and loss.
It’s time to let go of the fears, let go of these stories.
The truth is that there’s a reality out there just waiting to be lived, and it’s so much more kind and peaceful than the stories we often create about it.
My wish for us all in this moment, is to go out and live the wonderful stories, the inevitably kind reality.© Copyright 2011 Lisa Bloom