Greetings Everyone, This is the podcast “Close to the Bone.” My name is Carl Vreeland, your host.
Before I begin. . . I want to quickly express how important your support is to the success of the podcast. By simply leaving a Review or Star Rating on Apple, it contributes to the growth of listenership immensely. From your smartphone, leaving a Review only takes a few minutes, even just a star rating, which only takes a second, can make a difference. Thank you.
This is episode #34, entitled, Everything’s Not Going to Be All Right.
Let’s get truthful. Let’s get real. Life is hard. And everything is not going to be all right. At least, not all of the time. People get ill. They grow old. They experience loss and loneliness, and they die. Of course, this goes for all of us. There’s no escaping it. “Wow,” you might say, “That’s brutal.” Well, that’s one way to judge it, and a common one. But why does this truth need to be brutal, and depressing, and frightening? Why does death have to be dreadful? It’s a reality. We all know we’re going to die. Why can’t we accept it? Why do we go around sort of whistling in the dark, avoiding and ignoring this extraordinary truth? Why do we drink, drug, smoke, plug-in, tune-out, chase money, sex, and material things obsessively as a way to circumvent it? Why can’t we just be, and just live without this fear?
Well, perhaps it is because we know we’re going to die? Unlike the rest of the animal kingdom, we have this knowledge that death can come at any time. We have a knowing, a self-awareness. As far as we know, other living creatures do not. Think about it, imagine if we didn’t know this truth, perhaps we’d be happy, like a dog or cat, or like an infant or toddler. Like children, we’d roll down grassy hills, run around with our clothes off, and splash around in street puddles through-out adulthood.
But we do know, and by having this self-awareness, and hence this fear of dying, we suffer. And with this fear, and the fear of getting sick, growing old, and losing our loved ones, we turn urgent. “Life is short, I have so much to accomplish, so much to see, and so much to do.” Yes, and fear and anxiety drive us to create, to leave our mark. “Time is of the essence, I don’t have time to sit back right now.” So we run to the gym, to the desk, to meetings, to dinner, while time is chasing us and closing in. We create goals, set intentions, plan our future, plan vacations, while old age and death lurk in the shadows. We can’t slow down, we can’t pause, we can’t stop because time waits for no one.
That drive, that energy, that fuel, is no doubt fear, fear of these truths, loss and death and such. Only we aren’t thinking about it most of the time, but it hides behind the curtain. On some level we know it’s there, waiting for us. That fear is the energy behind our anxiety, worry, anger, frustration, unease, restlessness, and impatience. And if left untreated, it will lead to mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical illness. And so we need to do something about it if we are to be healthy, happy, and at peace.
So what’s the treatment, what’s the solution? Not an easy answer, and like with most things, there really isn’t one answer. But like with any issue, it starts with acknowledgment of it, then an understanding of it, and then a discipline, plan, and program. This is why we have psychotherapy, psychiatry, religion, meditation, and spiritual practices such as Yoga, Buddhism, and the Twelve Step program; because we need help, we need guidance, and tools. So don’t be so quick to put down talk-therapy or religion, it turned up for a reason. There was a need for it, and there still is a need. Fact is, left to our default mode, the survival instinct, the fight or flight mechanism, we run amuck. Yes, it’s true, we are
Already a member? Sign in
Continue Reading with a Free Membership
In our effort to create a safe and supportive environment for our community we’ve implemented a new and private membership area. In this space, members can feel comfortable leaving a comment and connecting with fellow readers.
Mary Lou Muller
Very true. Easier said than done. Not easy to accept the life God has chosen for us.
Carl T. Vreeland
Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 Agreed, it’s not easy. But it’s possible. One day at a time we can make the effort to surrender our will and ask God for the strength to accept His (or Her) will.