I have watched patients over the years wait for the other shoe to drop.  A woman with lymphoma that is successfully resected waits her five years to hear the “all clear”. Despite the passage of time and her apparent health, she carries a nagging fear that something lurks for her. A man has an episode of sudden death at the gym while working out. Another patron of the facility uses the defibrillator that hangs on the wall and resuscitates him. EMS takes him to the hospital and he has emergency open heart surgery and has a defibrillator implanted in his chest. He is not yet on Medicare and struggles with the idea that his heart is so damaged; that he is so broken. He sits in fear, worried when his defibrillator will discharge. Will it save him this time? Is it his time? The pale of apprehension clouds and overshadows a daily existence. There is no remedy for fear. While it is easy to write anxiolytics to comabt the nervousness, they do not remove or diminish the emotional metronome of fear knocking in the back of your head.

Sometimes, even in joyful and prosperous times, there is the faint drumbeat of fear heard way in the distance. Or, for one who has lived long in the rhythm of fear, to be freed of it requires relearning a new pattern for living. It is a constant effort to remind oneself that there is nothing to fear. That life can be good, that there are rewards and joy, that pleasure and contentment are allowed. Happiness and success will not be snatched away. There is no vortex waiting to swallow up a newly minted peace. It is okay to be happy, to be excited, to thrill at the future and be eager with anticipation of the good and positive. Don’t wait for the other shoe to drop….take your shoes off and walk barefoot. Be grounded in your space, firmly planted in the wonder of positive energy and feel it go from your head to your toes and root down into the ground.

Good news and positive events do not require a counter-balancing. There is no cosmic ledger keeping score, ticking off the good and the bad. Every life goes through cycles and it is a blessing to be able to enjoy fulfillment when times have long been full of adversity. And positive things cast their own kind of shadows, like a rising sun or a candle lit in a storm. It is always the right time to have a good time.

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