Don’t Panic

I know the world has always been a scary place, but it seems to go through phases where it is extra scary. Between nuclear war and civil war and climate issues and shifting populations and the potential for genocidal AI and totalitarianism looming on all sides, right now seems like one of those scary times.

These things are all, of course, well beyond our control. No single person can fix these them. Not even Elon Musk or Angelina Jolie.

Times like these can magnify the personal struggles and tribulations we find ourselves in, making them feel worse than they already are. They can make people seem a little more selfish, a little more sinister and a little more unreliable. Times like these can make small problems look big and big problems look insurmountable. It only takes a drop of water to make a full glass overflow.

Fear Reactions

For some people, this has a paralyzing effect. Others seek to escape. My own personal fear response is to run toward whatever I perceive as the problem closest to me and fix it, and then move on to the next and the next, fixing everything along the way.

To be clear, I’m not fixing anything.

My mind is just spinning out of control and making a mess in the name of controlling something.

Controlling anything.

This, of course, only serves to highlight how little control I have and causes more trouble, which leads to more anxiety, which my mind immediately decides to fix.

Maybe it will work this time.

Control

We have control over one thing in this world, and that is our response to the things we cannot control. Anytime I step outside of this and start looking at controlling anything else things get worse and worse and I make mistakes. I say and do things I shouldn’t. I watch as my ego get an infusion of steroids and bath salts and begins running wild, demanding to be in charge of everything.

It always turns out wonderfully.

Control is always an illusion and the idea that we have the right answer is always false, even when the world seems to be falling apart.

Especially when the world seems to be falling apart.

Relax.

Breathe.

Choose your response.

Move on.

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I write, podcast and make videos about living in freedom through mindfulness, intentionality, compassion, and equanimity.

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