Midlife, aging, dealing with change. All can be stressful and cause periods of sleeplessness. You get into bed exhausted, only to wake up hours later–your mind suddenly dealing with an argument, your recent bank balance or a future doctor appointment. Such concerns can run the gamut from serious to silly–but no matter what, we have to deal with them.
ARE YOU A CHARLIE BROWN–OR A LINUS?
Charlie Brown was plagued with self-doubt. Linus dragged his blanket around realizing that a little security is a good thing. Our midnight worries are symptomatic of feelings of incompleteness, indecisiveness; and they reflect our insecurities. Yes, we are adults, but we have moments when all our experience, degrees, honors, and achievements can’t convince us that we are okay. So where’s that security blanket from childhood? If I had that would I sleep better? No. It’s way too late for that. So what can I do?
Christine Curran, in a piece for the Ignatian Volunteer Core, writes: I’ve been unable to eradicate these feelings (insecurities) and I’m starting to think it may be impossible to do so…these feeling may have been built into human nature through eons of evolution…being able to easily find and hang onto contentment would have been a decided disadvantage to our ancestors. From where else would the impulse have come to explore the next horizon or to sharpen the edge of a rock and fasten it to a pole? Perhaps our very success as a species is owed in part to our abiding restlessness.
ARE YOU RESTLESS? THAT’S GOOD; HAVE SELF-DOUBTS? Find a Balance
Curran’s theory is intriguing. And I’ll accept it, if I can make myself wonder, be restless, insecure and therefore possibly creative like my ancestors–BUT ONLY for part of each day. Because for the other part, I would like to turn off news that is often troubling, escape unnecessary text and email–and not be restless. Instead I want to find comfort and peace in myself and for myself. If I can do that, I can be a better person for my loved ones and for others.
YOUR SECURITY BLANKET BEGINS WITH YOU
Articles, interviews, opinions abound on the necessity of unplugging. We are becoming a civilization that: walks and interacts with our children while talking on a cell phone; sits at dinner with our spouses while reading email; ignores our real neighbors because our faces are in Facebook. Really? Human connection needs more flesh and blood, more eye to eye. And finding things that act like a security blanket and bring an old-fashioned kind of comfort and serenity when needed, just might be the ability to be with yourself. YES! You become your own security blanket–you feel secure, good, even calm and happy just being yourself with yourself.
WHAT I DO TO COPE
When I am restless, insecure or reacting to disappointment or sorrow, I go to the choices below to get back that IT’S GOOD TO BE ME feeling. These act like security blankets:
- ORGANIZATION: Maybe an odd choice, but I feel calmer, better able to deal with world news, a bad cold, nonfunctioning water heater or disappointing trip cancellation if I am organized, if I have my list of to-dos and a calendar that eliminates surprises.
- A MEANINGFUL PHONE CALL: And not some FB message or a 140 character tweet, but a real, live phone call with a friend or family member–someone I love.
- MUSIC: Soft, pleasant, maybe memory-filled. The right choice of music helps blot out the cares of the world, displaces noise and confusion and soothes the soul. It’s great company if you need it.
- A WARM SWEATER OR THROW: And it should be lovingly worn, (now that’s close to a security blanket) to ward off any chill, to cuddle in with a book, a good film or worthy television show like Downton Abbey or Cosmos.
- A SCENTED CANDLE: (getting in all the senses here) and not those battery-operated ones. Those aren’t candles!
- A LIBATION OF CHOICE: A great glass of vino or a warming, soothing tea. And I like to add a small piece of dark chocolate. Now we’re talking.
CHUTZPAH FOR A CHANGE
And finally–I think occasionally we all need to cultivate a little chutzpah. Definition? Personal confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others.
Because chutzpah can mean letting those we love KNOW WHAT WE NEED. Because we will always need someone’s hand to hold, someone to listen to a problem, share a worry. A security blanket in this fickle world where change is bold and frightening requires that someone KNOWS WHAT WE NEED. And we all need love.
Christine Curran ends her piece on insecurity with the following: Though obviously a nonbeliever, Prof. Louis Levy in Woody Allen’s film, Crimes and Misdemeanors, may…have glimpsed a partial reality when he observed: “Human happiness does not seem to have been included in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to the indifferent universe.”
Be secure in yourself and love yourself. And love others in your life. Love dispels the midnight worries. It’s the best security blanket known to humankind.
Thanks to Pinterest ART PICKS UP WHERE NATURE ENDS