Every adventure I have, every picture I take, I wish I could share with my mom. Hearing her voice and that laugh -- so real, so hearty, so alive -- was like having her right there on the sofa with us, making me feel so happy, so sad.
My thoughts scattered my brain, causing a mismatch of thoughts that led to the feeling of a pit lodged in my stomach. But how do you control something like that? How do you defend yourself against a feeling that seems so miniscule yet so overwhelming and disastrous at the same time?
Worry has historically played a vital role in our survival and it helps us cope with many of the challenges we face today. At the same time, worry that is too intense and too unrelenting can definitely cut down on your happiness and enjoyment of life.
As a GPS for the Soul editor -- someone who reads, writes, Tweets and preaches about stress management all day -- I have my own tools that work when stress rears its repugnant head. But this doesn't mean I don't stress.
How can we stop worrying when part of us seems convinced that if we only do enough of it we'll stay healthy, safe, and successful for the rest of our lives? By recognizing that worry is a poor substitute for knowledge, intuition and inspiration.
Maybe understanding the historic events and behavioral roots that have produced these venomously angry polarized times can help us let go of at least a little of our own deep instinct to align with the tribe in the name of safety and protection.
It is hardly news that America has become more divided. But this survey offers fresh support that these divisions are not about gun control or abortion or any of the individual issues we fight about, but about deeper dissatisfactions and worries.
With 2013's arrival, much like a gardener using a shovel to prepare for planting (then one day, harvesting), I invite you to explore your faith, facts and fictions with the following questions (shovels) over the weeks and months ahead.
Take a moment now to ponder your definition of a fact. How do you accept something as a fact? Do you take time to verify (through first-hand experience) a fact before you accept a fact to be true? How often do you check facts?
As the season soaks or shrivels expectations, hopes blossom into blessed bliss or dissolve due to daily duress. With seasons officially changing, we enter into a unique 10 days where expectations rapidly climax or crash, awash in faiths, facts or fictions.
Worry is a relational phenomenon. If other people in a group are unwilling to share the burdens of that group, then the person who does identify problems and try to solve them has to bear the weight of those problems alone.
It's time to change our relationship with the holidays. We don't have to break up with them, but just know that as with all things anxiety, the holidays aren't the problem -- it's the story in our head about the holidays that needs to change.