by Maryanne Comaroto
Plane journeys have always been a sticking point for me. There's the worry about being late, the stress of dealing with airports, and of course the panic about the flight itself. And if the flight happens to be in the morning, as it was yesterday morning, the day can get off to a seriously bad start.
Most mornings, I wake up feeling grateful for another day, and after counting up the number of peaceful hours of sleep I've had, I spend some time contemplating my dreams, and assessing any issues I had during the night. My husband and I spend some time talking, and in general I take the opportunity to check in with myself, and with him.
But yesterday we had a flight to catch, and we had to be at the airport for an 8am check-in. I leapt out of bed just after 6, briefly asked my husband how he slept, and then went straight from there into anxiety. Looking back now, I see what went wrong, and it's no wonder how I ended up in a bad place emotionally.
I showered and thought about all the ways that weather might crash a plane. It had been raining heavily overnight, and the weather was forecast to get even more extreme soon. I pictured our plane going down in a crash of thunder and lightning.
As we boarded the plane, I tried to quell thoughts of disaster as my stressful thinking continued unabated. I told myself how unlikely it was that the plane would go down, especially with David and me on it together. I tried to convince myself that since a friend of mine had died in a plane accident, and another friend's husband also had, that it was nearly impossible for it to happen to me. But maybe, just maybe, there could be a terrorist on the plane. I checked around to see if I thought anyone looked like a terrorist.
But then I suddenly got a hold of myself, a kind but firm interruption of my paranoia. I told myself, look, Maryanne, think about it - every time you fly, you do this. Can't you see that no matter how many times you anticipate disaster on an airplane, it never happens?
That reality check already made me feel better, but my inner voice continued to drive the point home. You know, God is not an old man in the clouds, but the Divine all around you. You are here on a mission of purpose, and when your time comes, it will come. That was all I needed to hear from myself. I settled down and quietly rejoiced in the truth.
It's amazing how much progress I've made from a few years ago, when not only would I not have been able to board a plane, but I wouldn't have been able even to leave my house. Anxiety disorders ruled my life, and without medication, I struggled to find the path back to health. Today, I'm able to sit on a plane and quietly contemplate how far I've come. It's wonderful.
There's a fitting story, about an old Shaman who used to tell stories to the village children, around the time of each new moon. The stories he told were about a dark wolf and a white wolf, who were mortal enemies, and who battled incessantly. The white wolf fed on truth, integrity, love, and generosity. The dark wolf fed on dishonesty, greed, fear, and hatred. The children loved these stories of how the two wolves battled each other, and they would always ask the same question: which wolf wins in the end. "Well," the Shaman would reply, "the one you feed is the one that wins!" And this is the truth - you choose which wolf to feed.
Are you letting fear into your life? Take a minute to meditate – everyone has time if you multitask! Maryanne shows us how in this week's video blog:
by Maryanne Comaroto of Maryanne Live