Real Life: Streaming 24/7 Season 62


Real Life: Streaming 24/7 Season 62

I bet I can get your heart rate up without exercising.

Ponder these: 

• Your child seems to be acting a little distant these days. I wonder if it’s his new friends or a reaction to the marital stress you and your spouse are experiencing.

• Am I really a horrible person if I don’t get vaccinated? My best friend won’t let me into her house. 

• I didn’t plan well for the children’s college and the 529 plan is empty. I need to draw from the retirement account again. I’ll never be able to retire.

• That nagging back ache that my mom has is pancreatic cancer.

• I can’t watch the news these days, I don’t trust anyone anymore. Why does my phone advertise things I’m simply thinking about? What is going on?

How’s that heart rate now? Anything hit home? If it helps at all, you are not going through life alone and these fears are not unique to you. You are not weak because you have anxiety, you are simply breathing, normal and alive. Some people deal with stress better than others, but the vast majority suffer seriously from anxiety, leaving many hopeless.

One of the nice things about history is that it’s, well, history! It’s over with already. As a nation and a global family, we have experienced hopeless times that are available to learn from and hopefully never to repeat. 9/11 was a hopeless time. Pearl Harbor was hopeless. The beaches of Normandy, hopeless. The Great Depression, hopeless, Nazi Prison Camps, hopeless. The list goes on. The key focus here is that those days are no longer with us currently, somehow, we got past the issue or event and survived. It’s in the rearview mirror now. 

In hopeless times, there always seem to be a few rock stars who are fueled by the despair and able to see through the hopelessness to do heroic things. Mother Theresa was fueled by hopelessness. She drew her energy through acts of service, never thinking herself above another, nor her being worthy herself. In the belly of slave ships, stolen human beings who had been sold like cattle, rowed themselves across the ocean humming and singing spiritual songs of hope. 

One of the greatest hymns ever written was likely from the pen of John Newton, a slave trader who was as wicked a man could be, who turned his ways way too late. Legend is that the tune of Newton’s “Amazing Grace,” that has never been credited to anyone, was inspired by the sounds coming from those enchained below in countless horrendous voyages across the Atlantic. This enchanting hymn reaches deep into my bones as I imagine with awe, the hope that sprung out of their hopelessness. 

In our comfortable and casual society, it can feel hopeless when Josh Allen, QB of the Buffalo Bills doesn’t get a shot in overtime to lead his team. Or for that matter, the same team reaching the Super Bowl four years in a row without bringing home victory…Laces out! That is not hopelessness. That is a First World setback. Those athletes, win or lose, bring money, and fame home with them to their families. Let’s, have compassion on them, but let’s not get confused with the hopelessness that an expectant mother feels when her firstborn is delivered stillborn. 

As the father of two adopted children from crisis pregnancies, I imagine the hopeless feeling that their birth mothers felt when facing their unplanned pregnancies. Imagine their fear, their disappointment, and their anxiety. Contrast that with the hopefulness and joy, just nine months later as these beautiful children became part of our family. 

We all need to see beyond today to survive in the kind of world that we live in. When I was young and my sister was two hours late to come home, we didn’t fear that she would never come home. Today, the police would have already been called. The fear and anxiety of this world is real. One of the reasons it is so bad now is media. 

News that we never heard before is now broadcast, shared, and liked through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. The idea that anyone would watch a 24-hour news show is preposterous. Our unsatiable appetite for information is stealing away our joy. Comparing your life with others on Facebook is like comparing the Edmonton Oilers with Wayne Gretzky in his prime as their captain, to a minor league team with the Hanson Brothers on the first line. Little known fact…the first professional hockey team where Gretzky played? The Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey League. 

It’s easier said than done, but we should all try this out. Rather than us focusing on what concerns us, perhaps we would benefit from focusing on what is good in our lives. Maybe it’s simply that you finally replaced those old wooden framed windows with new vinyl clad windows that aren’t rotting away anymore. 

It could be that those speech lessons are making little Ross’s lisp almost unrecognizable. “Anxiety refuses to share a heart with gratitude!” Think allergies. Imagine that Gratitude makes Anxiety break out in hives. The more we pour on the gratitude, the sooner anxiety flees. We are to be anxious about NOTHING. That’s not confusing or left to an alternative interpretation. Be anxious about Nothing. NOTHING. We can’t control negative things happening in our lives, but we CAN control how we react and think about them.

It seems to me that every episode of NCIS starts with a dead body. The show doesn’t start with a wedding, a nice dinner out, a kid showing mom his straight As…no, it’s a dead body. Why? So that we will watch it. Those friends of yours with the fake life shown on Facebook, with kids born with straight teeth, new shoes for each event, a trip to Paris with the entire family, an Emory University Med School grad, perfect hair, and a rich husband aren’t real life. 

Your NCIS life is the real one. It’s the one that is interesting, and the ending isn’t predictable. Embracing YOUR LIFE while also embracing Anxiety and Fear, dismissing them through Gratitude and Appreciation, is TV worth binge watching. Real Life: Streaming in my house 24/7 Season 62.

Article contributed by:
Jeff Pinyot
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