Tuesday, August 23, 2011


     I sometimes engage in catastrophic thinking. With limited information, I imagine horrific future scenarios. I make assumptions that something that feels scary to me because it is unknown actually is scary... when it may not be. In my life, I have learned that what seems like the end of everything and total darkness can actually turn out to be a beginning instead, and a gift, a "blessing in disguise." But even knowing that, my faith so easily falters, especially when faced with something big and looming, something I cannot wrap my head around, that does not make sense to me in my right-side-up mind. I am afraid of things like mental illness and cancer and radiation and accidental death, things like cruelty and vengeance and abuse.
     Because I cannot understand these things, I do not trust them, and feel sure, when I encounter them, that they are come to take me down, or to take down the people I love. And some may fall, it's true, but in the great big God-scope of things, I trust there's reason to it, and lessons, and maybe even beauty. Nothing happens in isolation. Like the rippling circles from a stone thrown in a lake, each happening instigates other happenings.
     I don't like the idea of suffering, and I definitely don't like the idea of any of the people I love having to suffer. My catastrophic thoughts rush to the bigness of what's going on and my being unable to stop it moving, and the suffering that is bound to follow, and my wanting to avoid suffering at all costs. But so much of my own growth in life has come through difficulties and hardship, through facing the big deals and making changes, or accepting whatever the truth may be that I cannot change at all, and finding a way to make peace with it. So, in my own experience, bad things are not necessarily bad, and appearances can deceive me.
     It's not my job to know what's what in every situation, but only to trust in something bigger than me that does know, and wants growth for us all, even through hardship, and in spite of my petty objections. My choice, as always, is mine. I can surrender to believing in goodness and all-is-well-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things thinking, or I can be a victim, and survive miserably, jockeying for position and going forever catastrophic in my head.

I choose faith over fear today, and say no to catastrophic thinking. I trust in the positive growth that comes through struggle and hardship.