Neurotic … September 4, 2012

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I am fairly healthy. Of course, these could be the classic “famous last words” of the guy about to receive his final delivery of carnations … graveside.  But barring some unforeseen bus with my name on it, I persevere. Yet there are little twinges, pains, losses, discrepancies and weaknesses that have crept onto my path to make me aware that I am probably on my way to Grandma’s house. Or in my case, Grandpa’s.

Arriving at my lodging last Thursday, I came up to the front door and realized that the step into the room was fairly high. This wouldn’t be an obstacle to most of you, but I have a bad right knee that doesn’t like to step up and certainly cringes at the necessity of stepping down. So I got myself into the room at a fairly awkward, if not comical, angle, and the first time I left the room I experienced quite a bit of discomfort. Therefore I was intimidated by both entering and leaving my own quarters.

Here’s what I knew immediately–if I kept the situation to myself, it would quickly grow into a fear inside my being. Fear is not unusual to any of us. The trouble with fear is that it is a lousy roommate for other, more congenial tenants. The first thing fear likes to do is cast out love. Then it likes to get confidence evicted. It sits around and debates with faith and chides and criticizes talent. Fear sucks. That may be a rather blatant way of explaining it, but it’s true.

So if I kept my apprehension about this step coming in and out of my door to myself, I would soon be looking at ways to avoid leaving my room and therefore, place myself in a sedentary position, which is not particularly beneficial to me for maintaining my first statement, which was, “I am fairly healthy.”

I was on the verge of becoming neurotic.

Now, I know “neurotic” is relegated to a psychological condition, but it is really so common to all of us that it should be talked about more often and explored like daily bread instead of viewed as a psycho-babble croissant. Here’s what makes us neurotic: a fear unexpressed is the seed of distress.

Whenever we find ourselves in the position where we choose, refrain, refuse or avoid sharing our fears, we plant a seed of distress in our souls. Distress grows into suspicion. Suspicion sprouts some isolation and isolation is what produces rage in us, and turns us into emotional ticking time-bombs.

In my case, if I was not prepared to admit that I was intimidated by a step up into my lodging, I was certainly going to become distressed by my own foolish pride and weakness. This would make me suspicious of any attempt to come and go or avenues that might be achieved in overcoming the situation. That suspicion would isolate me. Instead of moving around–going and doing things–I would look for reasons to stay in the room, and once isolated in that condition, my grumpiness would soon turn into a picky attitude, which could explode into rage if someone challenged me.

We meet neurotic people every day–even after we leave the mirror. Inside them is a fear that they are too intimidated to express. Even as I sat down to write this jonathots to you, I wondered how I would look to my readers, having such a weak knee that I was unable to climb twelve inches without discomfort. Actually, I came inches–or may I say, sentences–from backing away from the whole idea of being so transparent. But because I shared my fear of the step with my traveling partner, Janet, and have now voiced it to you fine folks, I not only have a renewed sense of vigor, but also a comforting presence of good cheer which will not only get me out the door and back in again, but will allow me to do it without feeling shame.

There is only one thing that stops each and every one of us from finding the platform from which we can voice our ability to the world around us: we’re afraid. We share that in common. Not all of us are beautiful. Not all of us are white. Not all of us are black. Not all of us are talented. Not all of us are intelligent.

But all God’s children are afraid.

And if we want to avoid becoming neurotic–gripped by suspicion, isolating ourselves until we become inexplicably enraged with stupid little things that come our way–we must find a way to express our fears. Let me tell you some of mine:

  • I have a fear of small talk with new people, even though my occupation requires it.
  • I have a fear that my obesity will eventually keep me from doing something very important in my life.
  • I have a fear that my children don’t completely understand my mission nor embrace my message.
  • I have a fear …

You see, I could go on and on.

But each time I write one down, I am just a little less afraid. Having the ability to verbalize our trepidation allows us to receive a hug from the love that had been chased away.

I don’t want to be neurotic. It makes me suspicious. It makes me isolate myself. And then, at the wrong moment I can become enraged, with nobody around me understanding the source for the burst of anger.

It doesn’t hurt less to climb the step into my room, or to step down to depart. I know two things–there is one other person, and now a bunch more, who comprehend a little piece of my displeasure. And on Thursday I get to check out and go somewhere else. I just thought I would share this with you. After all, it doesn’t do any good to be intelligent or spiritual if you allow your life to become neurotic.

And neurotic is a fear unexpressed that plants the seed of distress.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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