Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Big Stuff is No Sweat! We Choose to Sweat the Small Stuff

     Walking along chatting with a friend, suddenly trip-falling face-forward onto the sidewalk. Everything in slow motion. Only thought "what?" Hands manage to touch sidewalk a microsecond before my face, more specifically, my mouth and nose, a bit off to the left side. Immediately I'm up again, physically and emotionally rattled somewhat. I notice my neck is stiff - must have braced for the fall, pulling back from the face-plant. Lower lip tastes of blood. I reassure my friend and passing motorist, who stopped & jumped out of his van, that I'm fine.
     This reminds me of an event many years ago when our car spun around completely three times on a busy, snow-covered highway. Everything then too was in slow-mo, very clear.
     Whether it's the sidewalk kissing you on the lips, or the highway playing spin-the-bottle with you and your family, direct engagement with physical reality is, quite surprisingly, simply interesting. A man who (remarkably) survived an attack by a large wild animal reported that he felt no pain, nor fear during the attack - very interesting indeed!
     These life-or-death events are just "interesting", while our comparatively humdrum daily anxieties can be emotional roller-coasters. Could it be that we try to evade our very real fear of death (existential terror) by distracting ourselves with non-stop soap-operas?
     Wouldn't dealing directly, skillfully with our existential fears make our lives less melodramatic and more joyful?

Photo: jakertin

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