An Anxious Heart


There are many myths about simplifying your life.

The most obvious one is that if you have simplified your life, your life will be simple. This is not possible. If you are engaged with life, if you love people, if you are paying attention, if you are living, breathing and growing, life is going to surprise you.

Sometimes the surprises are good, sometimes they are terrible but most of the time they are just plain unexpected. Because I am in recovery from over-commitment, my first thoughts when I have a day like today are, What did I do wrong? Did I promise too much? Plan too little? Am I expecting too much of myself? What am I missing here? 

I wrote in my journal this morning, I have a lot to do but all the time in the world to do it.

That was before my phone went missing, the shoes for camp didn’t fit, the child was doubled over with a migraine, the house closing was postponed and a major project needed another round of unexpected edits.

My racing heart and scattered thoughts are evidenced by the half-empty dishwasher, the water running in the sink from when I was brushing my teeth a few minutes ago, and the three incomplete emails open on my desktop. The next best step eludes me and every possible step has me second guessing myself.

I made a list.

I packed my purse.

I got the dog ready for the kennel.

I borrowed my daughter’s phone.

I got in my car.

I turned on the radio. Really Loud.

I put on my sunglasses.

As I was driving toward my first errand, without intention, I placed my hand on my heart.

To live simply is to design a life where I have what I need with room more, where there is grace for the surprises because I have not scheduled myself out so thinly. But many days, I am not able to do or be enough. Life throws more at me that I can manage. And I am in the crazy time that Richard Rohr writes about when he explains liminal space as, “the place where we are between the familiar and the unknown.”

What if I experienced anxiety as an invitation to this sacred space where I let go of certainty a little more while opening myself up to more grace with each breath?

I wasn’t planning to put my hand on my heart, but I did. There I was in my own crazy space accidentally honoring the anxious hum inside my heart as if it was something good.

And then I went and bought myself a box of chocolate covered cherries.

Grace comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s covered in chocolate.


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