A Prayer for the Anxious
by Meg Riley
At night the thoughts run like hamsters on a squeaky wheel
that is right next to your bed.
Worst case scenarios gnaw your stomach.
Fear courses through your veins,
You toss and turn, trying to escape
But the minute you stop doing, the anxiety is back at you.
What if? Why didn't I? How could she think? How can I?
You are trying to swim in the ocean and these are tiny fish
ceaselessly, ceaselessly, nibbling your flesh
Ceaselessly blocking your way.
Take a deep breath. Concentrate on it.
Notice where this energy is in your body.
Breathe again. Breathe again.
May you know that you are bigger than this;
May you find your bigness.
May you remember something you love. Breathe into it.
Remember someone you love, someone easy—perhaps a cat or dog.
May you breathe into the softness of flesh or fur remembered.
Breathe into it again, watching your anxious thoughts.
May that anxiety be a TV screen in an airport, annoying but irrelevant.
May you watch it on a very small screen.
May it shrink to the tiniest screen you can imagine,
shrink till it disappears.
May you find peace in your breath,
May you find ease to just be, just be, just be.
Meg Riley is senior minister at CLF. She’s been a UU minister for twenty years. As a UU kid in West Virginia, she quickly learned to enjoy being ‘different,’ which has served her well in a ‘different’ life. Riley lives in Minneapolis, where she enjoys walking by lakes, gardening, reading and writing, and in social media, where she enjoys hanging out, keeping up with people, and playing the occasional game of Scrabble. She is the parent of a teenager, and the companion of a number of four legged friends.