I can’t speak for anyone else, but much of my own anxiety is centered around a feeling of groundlessness. In a sense, it’s almost as if I’ve spent much of my life feeling out of touch with the things that truly matter. In this way, it’s easy to get lost in the bustle of modern life and forget about the big picture.

For me, overcoming anxiety is about seeing the big picture and understanding my place as a husband, a brother, a son, and even a human. Buddhism taught me that the best way to conquer the feeling of groundlessness is to accept that life is, essentially, groundless and that the search for stable ground is a waste of time. Instead, we should spend our time living in the present moment, even if that means standing on uncertain ground. You can think of this is metaphorical terms by examining your own life. Do you search for stable ground? Certainty? Do you want to know what will become of you, your family, your belongings?

Here’s the bad news: You can’t know. Yes, you may get sick. It may happen tomorrow, ten years from now, or seventy years from now. Yes, you will die eventually. Yes, everything you know and love is impermanent. Nothing lasts forever; not the Earth, not the Sun, not the Milky Way, and presumably, not even the Universe itself. We’re all destined for birth, life, and death, in the cycle of existence. This is the only thing you can know with any degree of certainty.

Even the Earth itself is alive. It’s still cooling from its formation billions of years ago. Imagine our planet: a massive lump of iron, rock, and gas. It is on this that we humans were born, whether you believe it to be the hand of God or a natural process. Here we are. The Earth is, literally, our Mother. She breathes still.

Listen to this. This is the sound of the Earth. This is the heartbeat of the planet that allows you, me, and everything else to live. Without the Earth’s rumblings, none of us could be here. The Earth’s molten iron core (which sloshes around sort of like milk in a coconut) generates a magnetic field which protects us from deadly cosmic rays. When the When the Earth’s iron core cools — which it ultimately will — we will all die. Nothing will protect us from cosmic radiation and our DNA will become bombarded with deadly radiation that will kill every living thing on this planet.

When I listen to this, I hear the sound of the Mother. And it helps me to understand a little bit more about where I come from and where I belong. I am a part of the Earth. The Earth is a part of us. We’re bound together in our fate. There is nothing to fear.

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