Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sleepless in Northern California

I'm having another one of my sleepless nights. They happen every once in awhile, when I get overwhelmed with life, the universe and everything. I couldn't shut my brain down for over an hour after I went to bed, so I got up and got some work done. Bathroom is clean. Clean clothes are sorted and ready to be ironed, folded and put away. Lots of papers have been sorted. Trash thrown out. I watched "Saturday Night Live" (it was lame).

I checked my email. There was a note from Debbie Ford, one of those self-help emotional/spiritual gurus. I like reading stuff from her website, but I've never bought any of her books. I have enough self-help books that I've never read. Somehow, just possessing them feels good, like I'm doing something, or prepared to move forward. Apparently I'm imminently prepared to move forward.

Anyway, in her new book, The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse (what more do I need to cleanse?), she has a poem about letting go of the past. It seemed appropriate for tonight.


Let all those who guide me support me in peeling away
whatever it is that keeps me blind to what's possible,
that keeps me hidden from my greatness,
that keeps me separate from my loved ones.
Today, I ask you to lighten my heart, to lift my burdens,
my worries, my fears, my anxieties, my grief
so that I may know and cherish all that I am.
I see it (allow yourself to see what your life would look
like unhooked from your past and liberated from your
I feel it (remember a time when you felt the whole world
and all its possibilities were open to you),
I acknowledge it right now
and so I know that it is.

See, I was experiencing a good bit of anxiety as I lay in bed. I was feeling crowded because my bedroom was full of laundry that needed attention, paperwork that needed to be filed, books to be put away, dust to be dusted, etc...and it seemed my forward progress in life was constantly being inhibited by housekeeping chores, tires needing rotation, parents needing attention, kids needing to be fed and loved. And once again, I saw the expanse of my life in terms of meeting others' needs and never caring for my own. And then I experienced anxiety for my own mortality and the not know what I currently believed about God and the afterlife, much less what is spiritually expected of me in the current life that buys me a ticket to the afterlife party. And I struggled with the urge to pray out of fear. (I don't like my spiritual life to be motivated by fear. If I'm going to exercise my faith, I want it to be a positive experience.)

So instead, I came downstairs and started another load of laundry, ate two all-beef hotdogs and got on the Internet for a rousing game of sudoku and checked my email. How's that for a late-night moment of personal growth?

Have you read The Official Vanity Club Archives of Chuck Lorre, who is the writer/producer of "Big Bang Theory", "Two and a Half Men" and other shows? They are little commentaries he's written and briefly flashes on the screen at the end of each show. He's got them all online. When you can't sleep, they're a great read. And it keeps me from spending more money at for yet another self-help book.

I need a new therapist. And to go to bed.


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

I haven't read either of those books. I'm sorry that you are feeling anxious. I have a tendency towards worry as well, and used to find myself eating as a way of feeling better. I did it all the time.

I pray that you will have all the success you desire, and that you will be able to have peace with your path.

Anonymous said...

Wow you got a lot done on a sleepless night - I just watched stupid late night TV and thought about doing useful things