Friday, September 10, 2010

Fear rising

I am grateful for the the process in which I can gain a deep awareness for life, through pain and suffering.

They said "Buddhism is about making peace with what is." This is a concise, beautiful reminder for me.

I began having what some would call panic attacks. I call it unidentified fear. When the chest gets so tight it feels like it will burst and your breathing all but stops. In this shallow state, a whole series of mindless wanderings and thoughts of escapism take over.

I pride myself in having the tools to deal with stress. This past month challenged my abilities. The day after my family came together in a Memorial Ceremony for my Sister, I was asked by a friend and client of 25 years to end our relationship. The next day my goat  Willy, (my beloved friend of 14 years whom I bottle fed from 2 days old), fractured a leg and had to be laid to rest. All these events triggered every other hidden fear I had stored. I began to wonder if it would ever end! All of this added up to one huge unbearable fear rising in my chest.

I realized through my pain and suffering, that the fear I was feeling wasn't really about losing my Sister, or my beloved goat, or my old friend,  it was about my perception of those events. This really made sense!  I know life and everything in it is impermanent. At least at the intellectual level, I know this. The real cause of my anxiety is the repeating thought or non truth that life is suppose to be different than it is.

I remember having this Epiphany just before my Sister died. I was struggling with the fact that she would not return my calls. She would sit in her house and let me leave message after message. I told her "I did not want to constantly keep worrying" about her. I finally decided to stop calling. This went on for 2 months. Then, one day I was  reading a book on Buddhism. It said "The cause of human suffering is holding on to, in fact clinging to  non truth".

I realized I was wanting my Sister to be other than she was. "Oh my God" I exclaimed! I picked up the phone, right then and told her I loved her. From then on, I adjusted my expectations, and felt much less frustration. I am eternally grateful I made that understanding before she took her life. Eternally grateful!


  1. Oh dear God, Mary...I simply have no words to convey my feelings at this moment. I am so sorry. Please know that I love you and cherish you as a beautiful friend and fellow human being just trying to make sense of everything that gets thrown at us in life. I simply cannot imagine how you must be feeling. Such a tragic loss of life, she must have felt such pain and loneliness and had profound hopelessness that nothing was ever going to change. May God have mercy on her. Know in your heart, that if nothing else good comes out of her final actions...she is finally at peace and suffers no longer. I love you my friend. I will come to see you very soon. Lorie

  2. Thank you Lori... your words heal my heart. I appreciate you and your loving ways. There is much good coming each day to me and my family through the process of acceptance and release. I look forward to our visit. Much love, ~Mary~