August 12, 2017
Few situations—no matter how greatly they appear to demand it—can be bettered by us going berserk.
— CODEPENDENT NO MORE
If a swimmer was crossing a great lake, then suddenly focused too heavily on the distance remaining, he might start to flounder and go under—not because he couldn’t swim, but because he became overwhelmed by panic.
Panic, not the task, is the enemy.
Many of us have moments when we feel crowded and overwhelmed. We have times when we feel like we cannot possibly accomplish all that needs to be done.
We may be facing a task at work, an improvement in ourselves, or change in our family life.
For a moment, it is helpful to look forward and envision the project. It is normal, when we look ahead at what needs to be done, to have moments of panic. Feel the fear, then let it go. Take our eyes off the future and the enormity of the task. If we have envisioned the goal, it will be ours. We do not have to do everything today, or at once.
Focus on today. Focus on the belief that all is well. All we need to do to reach our goal is to focus on what presents itself naturally, and in an orderly way, to us today. We shall be empowered to accomplish, peacefully, what we need to get where we want to be tomorrow.
Panic will stop this process. Trust and guided action will further it. Breathe deeply. Get peaceful. Trust. Act as guided, today.
We can get back on track by treading water until we regain our composure. Once we feel peaceful, we can begin swimming again, with confidence. Keep the focus simple, on one stroke, one movement at a time. If we can make one movement, we have progressed. If we get tired, we can float—but only if we are relaxed. Before we know it, we shall reach the shore.
Today, I will believe that all is well. I am being led, but I shall only be led one day at a time. I will focus my energy on living this day to the best of my ability. If panic arises, I will stop all activity and deal with panic as a separate issue.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
About the author
In addiction and recovery circles, Melody Beattie is a household name. She is the best-selling author of numerous books.
One of Melody's more recent titles is The Grief Club, which was published in 2006. This inspirational book gives the reader an inside look at the miraculous phenomenon that occurs after loss--the being welcomed into a new "club" of sorts, a circle of people who have lived through similar grief and pain, whether it be the loss of a child, a spouse, a career, or even one's youth.