I’m slogging my way through a book for our next bookclub meeting. It’s good, but it’s one of those stories that goes back and forth in time..not just for one character, but for many. Not exactly a great selection for someone like me who sits down for little five minute breaks throughout the day…but I’m hangin’ in there!
As hard as it’s been to keep track of the multiple story lines, one single sentence that the author used really stood out and stuck with me. She described one of the character’s anxiety as being “like flies at a picnic.”
I’m sure all of us have experienced both anxiety AND flies at picnics so the visual of having to swat at persistent worries is a great one. And isn’t it so true that anxious thoughts can intrude on life in a way that eventually saps the joy right out of even the most relaxing and pleasurable events?
In an effort to protect themselves from nagging angst, some people build barriers or try to manage their fears in ways that simply end up ruining their ability to interact with others and live normal lives. Imagine the energy involved in trying to win those battles – heck, you might as well just stay home..which sadly, many who struggle with anxiety do.
The truth is these barriers don’t make what’s bugging you disappear. The only thing that works is the stiff, fresh breeze of positive and uplifting new thoughts that blow away the old, stale, self-defeating ones.
The next sentence in that verse is : “Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.”
The answer to managing anxiety isn’t to withdraw or zip ourselves up behind protective shields..
the answers my friend are blowing in the wind.