Daily Riches: Anxiety Rising In My Chest (Mary Oliver, Richard Rohr, Lewis Thomas, Matt Licata)

“We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth’s creatures, the worrying animal.”  Lewis Thomas

“I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.”
“I Worried” by Mary Oliver

“Your sadness, your loneliness, your fear, and your anxiety are not mistakes. They are not obstacles on your path. They are the path. The freedom you are longing for is not found in the eradication of these, but in the information they carry. You need not transcend anything here, but be willing to become deeply intimate with your lived, embodied experience. …Nothing is missing, nothing is out of place, nothing need be sent away.” Matt Licata

“…we dare not get rid of the pain before we have learned what it has to teach us. …Fixing something doesn’t usually transform us. We try to change events in order to avoid changing ourselves. We avoid God, who works in the darkness – where we are not in control! Maybe that is the secret: relinquishing control. We must learn to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning.” Richard Rohr

“Do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased
to give you the kingdom.“
Jesus, in Luke 12:32

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you learning “to stay with the pain of life” rather than attempting to fix things that shouldn’t be fixed?
  • What is your sadness, loneliness or anxiety trying to tell you?
  • We’ve all seen worrying “come to nothing.” Can you remember that from the start, and just go “out into the morning” and sing?

Abba, save my soul from being so steeped in care that I pass heedless and unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.

For More: Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”



8 thoughts on “Daily Riches: Anxiety Rising In My Chest (Mary Oliver, Richard Rohr, Lewis Thomas, Matt Licata)

  1. And then there’s the urge to “fix” others. Two big problems. (Some things ought to be fixed, as the recent news from Baltimore makes obvious, but it’s just misguided try to fix “what shouldn’t be fixed”, but experienced – things we need to learn from. It’s definitely a journey.


  2. Thank you Bill. A great encouragement for which I am deeply grateful. I am reminded of “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” (Thoreau) I am sure the desperation is the very means to new life if seen as, not to be fixed, but as an opportunity to stay in the pain and meet Abba there.


    • Thank you Vernon, for your encouragement. Learning to see our painful emotions and situations as revelation from God, or tools he will use is a hard but essential life skill. I’m glad if I can encourage you or others in this as I remind and encourage myself.


  3. Pingback: Daily Riches: Five Most Popular Posts in 2015 | Richer By Far

  4. So I decided to reread it too, and it was a great reminder to me as well. Thanks for the note Anyushka. People (including me) rereading these posts is at the heart of what I’m hoping for with my blog – reminders! reminders! Our greatest need is to be reminded, in various ways, about the most important (and usually most basic and simple) things.


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