Read this if you suffer from anxiety. There are some things in life that just can’t be obtained with all the money in the world… Peace is one of them, and maybe the most important one at that.
How do I know this? Because, I have received it in the most distressing of times and not through wealth or power.
If you think about it, sickness and death is our real enemy during this lifetime. It does not care what gender, color, race, language or religious preference you are. It just indiscriminately moves too and fro claiming it’s next victim.
So how is it possible to have peace in your heart and soul when the unthinkable comes to visit?
If you want to find out… keep reading… this will be the hardest easy thing you will ever do from this point forward in your life. The benefits absolutely outweigh the effort.
By the way, I’m not going to lead you down some trail and get you all excited then ask you to send me money for…. “the secret.” Nope, if you have a need for peace in your life, then it’s free to you. Just be courageous with an open mind.
One of the reasons there is so much “angst” in people these days is because of the expectations we hold. People (maybe you too) have built expectations for everyone and everything around you. You become upset or anxious when things don’t work out according to your plan. Do you lead your thoughts, or do they lead you?
The first step in our journey is to acknowledge that you are not God! I know I know that is a tough pill to swallow, but last time I checked, they weren’t taking any applications in Heaven for that position…. It seems to be filled already.
Now I certainly don’t want to offend my atheist friends, so let’s just start with the idea that whatever you believe has to be your foundation of life. Whether you believe in God or not, it is the place you go for your own absolute truth.
“Believing in something you can never prove, isn’t that faith?”
So let’s let “faith” be our friend. Anxiety comes with uncertainty like holidays, job interviews, dates, speaking engagements, tiling the bathroom floor…. and yes, more so with sickness and death.
I have been with people in their last moments of life and seen a stark difference of peace connected to their faith.
When we can’t control the outcome or meet self imposed expectations, it’s possible for anxiety or maybe even anger to rule within us. It does not need to be that way! You have a voice in this.
It was Jesus who said “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives.” He made a distinction between what the world gives and what He offers.
Here is the actual definition in the Strong’s concordance:
Strongs Greek 1515 eirḗnē (from eirō, “to join, tie together into a whole”) – properly, wholeness, i.e. when all essential parts are joined together; peace (God’s gift of wholeness).
When my kids were very young it seems they did not worry about anything. They laughed, played were fed and knew peace in the house. What more could they ask for? It wasn’t until later that the demands of life (or this world) crept in and instilled worry and anxiety. Up until then everything was fine and dandy. How did it change for you?
When Jesus said…
“My peace (or wholeness) I give to you, not as the world gives.” What was He saying?
Two things… First, it is possible to be restored to wholeness and second, this world will fragment you…. if you let it.
Imagine some very rich person offering you 20 million dollars. Just let that sink in for a second. He wrote a check with your name on it, and is holding it out for you to accept. You would have to decide if you wanted it, then get up, walk over and reach out to take it from him… Right? I mean, you would have to do something in order to get the money into your bank account. What if you did not like the rich person or believe he was really legit in his offer. Would that influence whether you accepted his check or not, and let his offer change your life?
Same thing with the offer of peace (or wholeness). You need to believe and accept it… You need to believe and accept Him who offers it. In all fairness, I did mention this will be the “hardest easy thing you have ever done.” Peace comes from Jesus… Period! You just read the hard part. The easy part follows…
I’m so confident in the peace He gave me during my battle with cancer that I’m going to do something crazy…. This will work for those who truly want to replace anxiety with peace, but may not with the doubters and negative minded people.
Anyway, God designed your body to relax naturally. You actually keep yourself from relaxation… (or the world does). Notice your breathing and what happens when you exhale. You will relax as your breath comes out. This may sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but just try it first before you judge.
In a moment we will start leading your body, mind and soul down a path of relaxation by counting from 10 down to 1.
The most important thing to do, is count on each exhale. Don’t force the count; just let it flow each time you let your breath out. What begins happening right away is your lungs, chest, neck and shoulders will start relaxing. Each time you cycle a ten count, your body and mind will relax deeper.
Go ahead and do this. It’s OK to read it as you go, but once you know the routine, you can close your eyes and achieve more profound levels of relaxation.
Anyway, get comfortable and say the “numbers” in your mind, “10” while letting out an exhale, “9” let your breath flow out nice and natural, “8” let it flow out slowly again, “7” draw in a deep breath and, relax as you exhale, “6” relax deeper with each exhale, “5” let your lungs and heart rate become normal, “4” let your body relax, “3” relax deeper, “2” relax even deeper, “1” relaxation, peace and wholeness is yours.
Try it again and remember not to force the count, just say the numbers each time you naturally exhale. Practice it each night you go to sleep.
Whenever you are faced with anxiety producing information, make a choice to find a semi-quiet place and let your body return to wholeness… that which God designed and offered you.
Remember… It’s all in your heart, and you do have a say.