In this week's post, "The Person and the Pea: How Fear Stops Us from Living, Erika discusses how little things can quickly become big deals...
I never understood the story of The Princess and the Pea. I always thought, “What’s the big deal, anyway, and who honestly could be so bothered by a tiny little pea that sits twenty mattresses away?”
Until a suspicious pea-sized lump on my body left me anguishing for nearly two weeks.
Ah! I realized. So that’s the big deal about a pea.
Peas may look small, but they can, in fact, be enormous. The princess’ pea left her bruised and lacking sleep. My pea also left me lacking in sleep, plagued by fear, unable to focus, and playing out ridiculous doom-and-gloom scenarios—on replay, no less. My pea demolished my appetite and made me shrink from the world. My pea was all I could see.
And that is simply ridiculous.
Because here is the truth: even if my pea had turned out to be Very.Bad.News (which it didn’t), leaving me with a difficult uphill battle ahead, I could still walk out the door today and be hit by a falling tree. Even if my pea had turned out to be Nothing.To.Worry.About (which it did), another pea could be lurking just out of reach but wreaking yet unseen havoc on my body. We never know how our story will unfold—some even argue our story has already been written for us—so what on earth is the use of worrying about what may be?
So the real “pea” that bothers us so much? I think it is fear. And fear, even when it is unseen and twenty mattresses away, can literally cripple us. Fear stops us from living far sooner than death.
Someone sent me this quote right in the middle of my fear-riddled pea-fest: “My friend, stop searching for the why and the how. Stop spinning the wheel of your soul. Right where you stand at this moment everything is given you in the utmost perfection. Accept this gift. Squeeze the juice of the passing moment.” (credit: Dr. Faouzi Skali)
Squeeze the juice of the passing moment.
Oh, I love that so much. How can I stop letting fear shrink me away from life, even in the face of the battles and bad news and bleh parts of life? How can I squeeze the juice of every moment, delight in the everyday joys? I think if I can figure that out, then no matter what “pea” I feel lurking in the night, whether right beside me or twenty mattresses away, I can still roll over and close my eyes and let peaceful sleep arrive.
No matter what peas are lurking, how can you squeeze the juice from each passing moment?
Write in the comments section below or tweet me @ErikaPetrelli1
Still looking for some further ways to squeeze the juice? Here are "5 Ways to Conquer Fear and Anxiety."