Have you ever had your peach cobbler end up on the floor? Have you ever had to overcome anxiety?
My body sagged in the molded plastic chair and I twisted my legs around the metal chair legs in the front, holding my feet in a braced position. I wanted to lie down. Instead I just propped my elbows on the child sized desk and leaned forward with my forehead on the pack of my palms. My brown eyes rimmed with tears and the objects in the room began to spin and I heard a whirring sound as saliva rose in my throat.
“I wish I could go home.” I thought. “I’ll be ok. School is almost over. If I can just make it to the bus, I’ll be fine.”
And then without a warning recognizable to me, all of the peach cobbler that I’d eaten from the school lunch room that day, lay splattered in a messy slimy puddle around my feet and in the aisle of Mrs. Willroth’s second grade classroom floor.
Within a few seconds I felt much better but could feel the sloooow red burn of embarrassment crawl up my torso and across my chest and creep up my neck as my classmates squealed and gagged and scurried to dodge the “PUKE”.
“She PUKED! Rachel PUKED.” They shouted in unison.
I hung my head in embarrassment and gave a side eye to the formation on the floor that I KNEW was in fact peach cobbler. How did that happen? They said I puked…I’d never puked before.
Mrs. Willroth hurried from the room to retrieve the man with the khaki pants and brown leather work boots. He came quickly with a large metal dust pan scoop and wide bristled utility broom. However, I was astonished to see he had an entire waste basket ABSOLUTELY FULL of all the pencil shavings from all the pencil sharpeners in the entire school.
“How many years must he have been saving pencil shavings?” I wondered about that.
I mean, I THOUGHT they were pencil shavings. They certainly LOOKED like pencil shavings…but they didn’t really SMELL like pencil shavings. And I should know what they smelled like, because right there beside my second grade desk and working quickly he sprinkled them into the slimy gooey contents that moments before had been expelled from my seven year old tummy.
With wide punching strokes he knocked the shavings into a pile that by now had absorbed the slime. He swept them into the metal dust pan scoop, and flipped them back into the waste basket. After a few more swishes of the broom to make sure all was clean and secure, the man with the khaki pants and brown leather boots was on his way.
I never ate peach cobbler again. Or any kind of baked fruit. OR PASTRY CRUST… well, until I was an adult…and married.
I’d never vomited before. I didn’t know what that was.
Have you ever wished you could overcome anxiety by just sweeping it into a pile and pitching it in the waste basket?
Years ago when I was in a difficult time I began to really contemplate Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” And 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on the Lord and he will sustain you.”
What exactly does it mean to cast, I wondered?
Now, hang on, HANG ON a minute!! Just hear me out. I’m comin’ back to the puke in the trash can.
So many times our reality doesn’t change, due to circumstances that we can’t control. The real life and nitty gritty that we are living with is just there and in our face and we’re up against a big brick wall and it feels like there’s no way to turn, no way to go.
There are many ways to overcome anxiety: read good self help books, meditate, pray, exercise, take medicine, talk to a therapist or confidante, are just a few.
I read somewhere recently that thanksgiving and a grateful attitude cannot reside with anxiety and worry.
When you feel the red creeping burn of anxiety and worry crawl up your torso and across your chest and up your neck…think about it…and flip the script!!!
What you focus on GROWS, so immediately begin to speak aloud things you are thankful and grateful for and change your focus.
I’m not just telling YOU to do this. I DO THIS too.
I have phrases of peace and gratitude and thankfulness that I repeat over and over when I am overcome with anxiety. It takes discipline and practice to bring my thoughts captive and in line with Truth.
To cast: ” to throw, throw violently, fling, hurl”
How many times have you (OR I in this situation) violently flung or hurled your anxieties away as a means of overcoming anxiety? I think more often than not I tend to focus on them, not hurl them away violently.
Another thing I have done, and this may help you too if you are action oriented, write your anxiety and concerns and worries on paper and then wad them into a tight little ball and throw it in the trash. It is true that action brings focus and clarity. So many times what we are worrying about or feeling anxiety from is based in fear. And fear makes us powerless and helpless. I think this one reason taking action is helpful.
Recently, when I was filled with anxiety and knowing how I THOUGHT situations should be, I had a visual image of myself walking about doing all my work and also carrying a waste basket full of “trash” (anxiety and worry) in the crook of my arm and instead of going and putting it in the dumpster and casting and hurling it away from myself, I was telling God, “Come over here and look in this trash can at all the stuff I’m dealing with.” Isn’t that just stupid of me. I saw myself doing that though.
I immediately had to change my thoughts, change my words, and flip the script and overcome anxiety.
Now back to the waste basket of vomit. I had literally violently HURLED the problematic contents from my stomach…never to taste or enjoy any kind of baked fruit or pastry crust for more than a decade.
And I am so very very grateful that the man in the khaki pants and brown leather boots came in and cleaned up the mess with the “pencil shavings” and left. He took the mess away. He didn’t show it to me, or rub my face in it, or walk around the room and show my classmates the mess he’d had to clean. He just took it and left. I feel certain if I had puked up the next day, he would have helped me again…as often as I needed…
SEE…we are never forsaken. There is always a ray of hope to overcome anxiety.
But after all this telling and reminiscing…I might go puke…hurl violently. Because my stomach hurts! LOL
How ’bout you. What do you do to overcome anxiety?
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