The Post for Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anxiety is essential to the human condition … anxiety can … assure the presence of tension that is necessary to preserve human existence.

Rollo May

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This is a very anxious time for people, more so than any I have lived in my decades of life.  Our economic existence gives us doubt.  Economic growth gives us doubt.  Our position of leadership in the world has diminished.  We are exposed to greater risk.  Families are fragmented.  Intimacy is less than it once, more evasive.  Faith is discounted.  Power seems to be a goal and often we are left powerless.  Communication between the old and young, between aging parents and young adult children is often sparse as each group literally uses different tools to make and maintain contact.

There is reason to be anxious.  It is, under the circumstances, proper and reasonable – evidence that one sees clearly and experiences what is.  Anxiety is not an illusion – but real and an accurate perception of the present moment.

What might we do?  One, know that your feeling is warranted and speaks to a human longing that is natural and reasonable.  Yes, we need greater contact, greater intimacy and greater stability than we now have – and less risk across a range of human existence.  And we need meaning.  Continual change makes life hard, creates anxiety.

Beware of those whose only act is to bring constant change which fundamentally alters your live. Few give due regard to the comfort of others, but seek change regardless of its effect on others or its consequences.

In the face of anxiety know that you are not alone – separate from what causes the anxiety.  Go to quiet.  Maintain contact with those who manage it well.  Seek the company of your religious narrative: it is built for certainty and a remarkable gift to us.

Shalom.

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