“And somehow or other, the windows being open, and the book held so that it rested upon a background of escallonia hedges and distant blue, instead of being a book it seemed as if what I read was laid upon the landscape not printed, bound, or sewn up, but somehow the product of trees and fields and the hot summer sky, like the air which swam, on fine mornings, round the outline of things.”
― Virginia Woolf
― Virginia Woolf
Others have reminded me lately how poisonous worry is. To be more correct, they have attempted to remind me, when in fact, I have never forgotten. I do know how insidious it is, the easy way it finds a small room in your life, but very soon outgrows it, and begins its quiet quest to take over the house. Yes, I know worry well. I used to see it as a nasty beast kept as a pet, which I fed my fears to, hoping to dispose of them. My hopes were not realized, but instead I was left with a very overfed, very large insatiable monster.
Now I see worry as an outcast, looking for a home. Powerless in its own right, worry waits homeless until we either take it in or banish it. I think we often confuse worry, the beast, with the food we feed it. In truth, even if we do not feed worry, worry will remind us, delivering to us a new recipe suggestion in the middle of the dark night, a small hint that something is not right, or that all that is good is not to last forever. While it's true that conquering the fears and solving difficulties can diminish and weaken worry, its hunger will return again and again until we simply put it back out in the cold dark night for good. The things we worry about are not the problem. Worry, itself is the demon.
One day I gathered white rocks from the shore to use in healing. It was not an easy search. There were hundreds of rocks washed up that day, but very few were white. Still, I found enough. I keep a couple on the nightstand. When one or both of us wake up in the middle of the night feeding the beast of worry, we place one of them on our chest and breathe. It's not long before we are both drifting off into a peaceful sleep. Ocean rocks are connected with the ancient earth and the healing sea. I find that they calm the waters of my sometime turbulent mind.