A life well lived and what do you do when you’re scared of your own mind?

“A life well-lived is a precious gift
of hope and strength and grace
from someone who has made our world
a brighter, better place.
It’s filled with moments sweet and sad,
with smiles and sometimes tears,
with friendships formed and good times shared
and laughter through the years.
A life well-lived is a legacy of joy and pride and pleasure,
A loving, lasting memory our grateful hearts will

This poem is often read at funerals. It’s called “A Life Well Lived.” But I think that it’s a good reminder for all of us sometimes. That it’s not about how much stuff we have of what kind of car we drive. It’s about the relationships we have and the impact we have on other people’s lives.

I had a conversation with my mom tonight that made me think of this poem. She told me that I make her laugh, and that I had always made her laugh. That’s a good legacy to have. But it makes me think about how I assume other people perceive me. I’m not confident. I’m uncertain and overly self-critical. I assume that people don’t like me. My brain automatically goes to the thought that people don’t really like me, that they just tolerate me or put up with me.

This leads into another point – I’m constantly on edge that I’m going to lose my job, my husband, my friends, and everything else that means anything to me. Someone made a mistake at work? Automatically my fault and I’m going to get fired – even if I had nothing to do with it.

I hate my brain. Sometimes my mind honestly scares me. It goes off on these negative tangents that I can’t control. It goes right to the most negative outcome of any and every situation. I’ve joked and told people that it’s self-preservation – if I assume the worst and that doesn’t happen then I’m pleasantly surprised. If it does, at least I’m prepared.

So what do you do when your own mind scares you? It’s not like you can cut it out or even shut it up.

Maybe right now I feel like things are going too well and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. But if I really believe in karma, or universal payback/retribution, doesn’t the last year of hardship mean that I have some good things coming?

I don’t even know anymore.

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