Archive for May 2020

How Small Am I   Leave a comment

I’ve always liked bugs, and especially ants.  They are amazing workers.  Their nests and highways fascinate me.  Here it is, a whole little world peopled by tiny creatures who work together on their projects.  Not to mention how cute I think they are.  All those legs sprinting around and little antennae waving at others.  They come in all sizes and they are all interesting.

Bees, of course, are social insects whose way of life and communicating is no less fascinating.  And they’re adorable as well.  Big eyes, drooping antennae, and golden yellow fuzz.  I always enjoy seeing bees.

When I look at these insects, I find myself wondering what they make of me.  They inhabit a world that is a miniature civilization, so to speak, and I am much larger than they are.  They could see me as a threat, for sure, but they can’t really comprehend what I am, what I can do or what I know.

In the same way, I am smaller than God and I can’t know what he knows.  In some ways, that’s a disturbing thought, but in many other ways, a comfort to me, to know that he is watching over me with knowledge and power far behind my ability to comprehend.  Of course this analogy is far from perfect, since I can’t create the ants or help them in any practical way, so that’s not where I’m going with this.

It’s just that despite how small I am, God takes an interest in me, and far more than that.  I don’t have to comprehend him, either, for his love and compassion to be for me.  I don’t have to believe, I don’t have to know.  He is real regardless of my ability to understand.  When my thoughts don’t include him, he’s still there, working.  When my feelings are all I know, he’s still there, working.  Who am I that he would care and understand?

It’s beyond my understanding.


Posted May 25, 2020 by swanatbagend in reflections

Five Weapons against Anxiety   Leave a comment

There’s one for each finger of your dominant hand, just to make them easier to remember when you’re not looking at this blog.

First, choose to stay in the present, reminding yourself of your current situation and all that is right with it.  Say, “What IS?” not “What if…?”

Second, when faced with anxiety that casts doubt on your future ability to do what’s needed, evaluate truly what you have been able to do in the past.  Don’t jump to the conclusion that you won’t be able to do what’s needed.  Sure there have been failures in the past, but those were a few points in time in your life.  What’s all the other truth about what has happened and what you have done well?

Third, take each five minutes at a time.  Or less, if that’s what you need.  Tell yourself, I just need to live the next five minutes, and then do the task that belongs to that time.

Fourth, give thanks for something that is all right in your life.  If things aren’t going well, there will still be something that is all right in the now.  Just for the next little while, don’t think about the things that concern you.  Thank God for something you have been given.

And fifth, find a go-to verse or meditation or image that represents peace and hope to you.  Have that ready each time the fear starts, and repeat it, out loud if you have to.

I find these weapons to create a fist’s worth of defense against the terrors of anxiety.  Sometimes one helps but the next time it doesn’t; however, it’s much better to have these five on hand (ha!) than to have none.

Oh, and it goes without saying there’s one other weapon that’s the foundation of all.  It’s just a little fact, but true: anxiety is just a feeling, and a feeling is not the truth.

Posted May 5, 2020 by swanatbagend in mental health

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