A Solution for Hyper-Vigilance

Emmett Fox, one of the most influential New Thought writers of the 20th century once said, “If you can raise your consciousness about the limitations of the physical plane in connection with the matter that troubles you then the conditions on that plane will change, and in some utterly unforeseen and normally impossible manner, the tragedy will melt away, and to the advantage of all parties to the case.”

When I first read this I was elated. It touched that soul part of me that so desperately needed to find the answer to how to deal with a major problem in my life, how to stay calm and centered with a son in Afghanistan. The news these last couple weeks regarding the Middle East crisis was not good. Too many wounded warrior commercials caused my imagination to work overtime. I only had one son and I loved him fiercely. Every time I thought of something bad happening to him while he was in Afghanistan at a military post in Kabul working for the State Department as a mentor and trainer to the police, I thought of him as a small child. The memories almost dimmed my vision. I saw him riding his toy horse, the one with the springs that moved back and forth across the floor as he banged into one wall and then another. I pictured him as a young boy in Little League, as a kindergartener with more wit and mischief than any kid I’d ever seen. He was so entertaining. As one of the primary football players in Pop Warner he brought excitement to my life and enriched my learning curve. His three sisters supported him as cheer leaders and I was the Team Mother. Despite me being a single parent who struggled to hold it together on a day by day basis with only my income, we managed to make it a great family sport.

As a survivor of child sexual abuse who had not yet gone through recovery I had a serious problem with hyper vigilance. When you’re raising four kids who are your whole life you worry about them continuously. When Mike had a lump on his elbow as a young teen the doctor said it was malignant and we would have to remove part of his arm. I was enraged. My son didn’t have cancer. That soul part of me that at times asserted itself with the truth was certain the doctor was wrong. I insisted on a second opinion. Tissue samples were sent to UCLA. I didn’t want Mike to know but the doctor came out to the waiting room and told him. Both of us drove home in a state of icy terror. Day after day, staring at his cheerios in the morning, he said, “I have cancer, don’t I. I’m going to lose my arm.” “No, you’re not. I told him. “You don’t have cancer.” It wasn’t just wishful thinking. It was that down deep part of me where the truth hid but sometimes I was able to find it that told me that Mike did not have cancer. Day after day his long face awaited me in the morning. Close to tears he would repeat his sentence. He had cancer; He was going to lose his arm. My terror matched his as I tried to swallow it. We were supposed to get the results back in three days. It took ten. When the phone rang Mike sat, rigid with fear, his eyes huge with anxiety as he listened to me talk to the doctor. The test results were in. The tissue was benign. He did not have cancer. That young lad grew up to become a Marine and an officer on the LAPD, Officer of the Year in 1998.

Here I was decades later with my son once again in a dangerous place, a dangerous time. My hyper-vigilance, the one thing I was unable to get rid of when I went through recovery, sat on my shoulders day after day. Obsessively I Googled “Kabul, Afghanistan News” time after time, my eyes scanning the computer screen as if the news were going to jump out at me. The day that a suicide bomber killed 14 people in Kabul as her vehicle left the airport where she’d picked up contractors, the knots in my stomach became boulders. I emailed Mike. Where was he? Was he ok? It took three days to get the response. He was in Dubai waiting for a work permit. The last email I got was last Thursday. He said his work permit had been approved and he should be flying to Kabul in the next couple days. I’m waiting for his email saying he arrived safely at the base.

That is where I have raised my consciousness to, changing the conditions on that plane. It took me awhile, when I first read the above words of Emmett Fox to totally comprehend it. I had to break the saying down the into smaller parts (and look up a few words in the dictionary as I wasn’t sure that what he thought each word meant was the same as what I thought) and eventually understood all of it.

We all need something to lean on (as the song goes), something to grab ahold of when we are troubled or even when we are in terror. Everything is perspective. The doctor says, “You have cancer.” I think, either, “Oh my God! I’m going to die” or, “Ok, what do I need to do to get well?” My husband says, “I’ve been having an affair and I want a divorce.” I can either make that statement the end of the world or I can think, “Thank God! What do I want with a guy who’s cheating on me?” The only thing that’s the end of the world is the end of the world! ”

Just raise your consciousness (awareness level) about the limitations (boundaries, restraints) of the physical plane (where you are) in connection with the matter that troubles you, then the conditions on that plane will change, and in some utterly unforeseen and normally impossible manner, the tragedy will melt away, and to the advantage of all parties to the case.” That’s YOU!

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