Night Time Worries  

by Barbara Casey
February, 2014

Do you wake in the night sometimes, worrying about a loved one? Does your mind fill with fear and anxiety, conjuring up all possible scenarios of unhappiness and suffering of your beloved one?

Recently talking with a friend about this commonplace event, we realized that this is where our minds are programmed to go. When you are wakened in the night with a phone call, it’s usually not good news. It’s often because of a crisis, of someone desperately reaching out for help. So even without the phone ringing, it’s natural to have the same reaction when our minds bring to mind a loved one in this dark and vulnerable time.

But there is another way to look at it. The middle of the night is when the world is quietest, when it is easiest to access the activities of our hearts. Perhaps we are most accessible at this time, with our guard down, with our busyness and self-importance stilled. Maybe our loved one is calling to us, not out of fear or need but out of a longing for connection. Without the need of a phone, perhaps they are calling just to say, I want to connect with you, you are important to me, I love you.

At that moment, in the darkness, can we have the presence of mind to question our assumptions? Can we make the choice to refrain from overlaying our fears onto this precious opportunity to connect? Can we instead think of our dear one with gratitude, contemplating their strengths, their goodness, and how much they mean to us? Can we send them wishes for happiness, safety, and well-being?

And then, resting in our own open and loving hearts, can we offer ourselves those same wishes as we breathe our way back to sleep?