ASK AMY

Re­la­tion­ship of dreams cre­ates fear

The Morning Call - - GO GUIDE - By Amy Dickinson

Dear Amy: I am mar­ried to the man of my dreams. Af­ter a rough first mar­riage, I was def­i­nitely re­warded with an amaz­ing se­cond one.

My hus­band and I have been to­gether for 11 years, and it still feels like we’re hon­ey­moon­ing. The prob­lem? I’m ter­ri­fied that some­thing will hap­pen to him. I know it’s silly, but the fear that he will die never leaves. I lie awake some nights, heart pound­ing, wor­ry­ing about it.

I know that wor­ry­ing solves noth­ing, but I can’t shake it! I reached out for ther­apy, but my in­sur­ance doesn’t cover men­tal health and my city is woe­fully lack­ing in re­sources. I’m on two wait lists for af­ford­able ther­apy, but I’m not sure what to do in the mean­time. Any tips on manag­ing this fear?

— Scared Silly in New Or­leans

Dear Scared Silly: Given that this fear and ru­mi­na­tion are in­ter­fer­ing with your daily life, it’s im­por­tant that you con­tinue to pur­sue pro­fes­sional coun­sel­ing. I as­sume that this fear is at its core not re­ally about your hus­band but about you. Com­ing to terms with other losses in your life will help you to embrace your daily bless­ings with less fear at­tached.

If you don’t learn to man­age this, your on­go­ing fear will af­fect your lovely and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship.

In the short term, I sug­gest div­ing into prac­ti­cal and healthy pur­suits that may help to rewire your brain. Run­ning, yoga, meditation and mu­sic are ac­tiv­i­ties you can pur­sue as ways to dis­tract and ex­pand your consciousn­ess and to bet­ter con­trol your ru­mi­na­tive thoughts.

You live in New Or­leans (lucky you!), so I sug­gest you pick up your ukulele and join one of the free jam ses­sions that spring up around the city. Mu­sic will open you up.

For an in­tro­duc­tory guide to a daily meditation practice, read “How to Med­i­tate: A Prac­ti­cal Guide to Mak­ing Friends with Your Mind,” by the won­der­ful Bud­dhist sage Pema Cho­dron (2013, Sounds True). Cho­dron lov­ingly leads the reader to­ward a begin­ner’s meditation practice.

Fear­ful thoughts will still en­ter your mind. But meditation can teach you to open a win­dow and let them merely pass through.

Copy­right 2019 by Amy Dickinson Dis­trib­uted by Tribune Con­tent Agency

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