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Less Anxious Presence...

When I was starting out in ministry, there was a popular concept in the area of church health which was the "non-anxious presence", that is, the person (ostensibly the minister) who, in the midst of whatever change or conflict or circumstance, remained calm and unruffled and therefore enabled everyone else to feel that all would be well.

A very wise, long-experienced minister, when sharing these ideas with us, said he did not think there was any such thing, because we are (or become) part of whatever it is,and of course have feelings, stresses and anxieties.  He preferred the term, 'less anxious presence', which is one to which I aspire... not denying the legitimate concerns of others and myself, but not being constrained by them.

This week I have wound up having two the most stressful things in my personal calendar... a haircut and a  dental check up, thankfully not on the same day.  I don't know that I would ever have labelled what I experienced as 'anxiety' at least not in a medical sense, but certainly in the hours leading up to either I tend to become more tense and nervous, watching the clock lest I am late, and not wanting to arrive too early and be stuck in the waiting room.

The difference is, that this week, neither was traumatic (maybe that's an overstatement!) indeed, on neither occasion was I nervous, anxious, stressed or any other negative emotion; rather I was totally calm and relaxed.  I was, if you like, a less anxious presence.

I have to assume that this is an unexpected bonus of what I am terming 'Drug B' which seems to have wiped away my menopausal bad moods without turning me into a zombie.  Indeed, it would appear to have made me marginally gallus, as I actively sought a treatment plan from my dentist to replace some rather old fillings over the next couple of years!

It's kind of funny to discover only by its absence just how significant that mild anxiety had been.  And I hope it's made me a little more empathetic to other people who might be similarly affected.

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