The Worst That Can Happen

You know, I think I'm finally entering that phase of life where we seem to quit allowing the slings and arrows to knock us off-balance. Let's face it, after you've spent more than a century on this planet you kind of learn that life is hard enough and there's not much out there that's worth rocking the boat over once you've found a lagoon of calm.

The computer thing has me concerned and frustrated, but I'm relatively calm about it. It will either be restored or it won't. Either way, it's just a computer. They're only files. It's not the death of a loved one, or something that will put me or someone I care about in the ICU...

Many years ago, as a student of the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, I read that he'd advised us to turn belly-up when the tide grew too fast to navigate.

It is virtually impossible for the human body to drown; it is buoyant. If someone drowns, it's because they are struggling with the current and are reacting from their fear. Go belly-up and submit. See where the tide will take you.

That's paraphrased, but it's the general idea. Over the years this bit of wisdom has strengthened me, even in the worst of times. If I cannot control it then I try to let it be, and wait for it to pass, whatever IT is. This hasn't been an easy lesson for me; I've always been one of those people who bounce off the walls, whether bad or good stuff is happening. I've always been a re-actor, addicted to the adrenalin rush. When I first read Yogananda's advice in my twenties, there was no way I was going to be able to put it into practice. But now, it comes more naturally. I can only attribute this to having survived middle-age and a life fraught with stress, death, abuse, turmoil, danger, extreme lows and extreme highs, and my own rash decision-making. No wonder Rick Strauss told me (back in 1971) that the tarot card that best represented me was The Fool.

There's a little drill I put myself through when crap happens, or when I'm worrying about crap happening. I keep asking myself, "What's the worst that can happen?" and every time, it's really not so bad:

Q: So the laptop crashed. What's the worst that can happen?
A: I will lose all of my data.

Q: Okay, then what's the worst that can happen?
A: I'll have to replace what I can, re-create what I'm able, and say bye-bye to the rest.

Q: So, what's the worst that can happen then?
A: I'll spend a week doing all that.

Q: And what's the worst that can happen if you have to do that?
A: ... Nothing.

This has always worked for me, whatever the situation.