2014 © Anne Rose
“Your mortgage payment bounced.”
Four words spoken into the air. But once they hit your ears, you suck in air like a vacuum and your heart takes off in a foot race. Because a bear’s at your door. So pushing the adrenaline button helps you bolt the latch.
The trouble is, in today’s world, there’s a bear at the door all day long. And your body isn’t able to do the simple tasks because it’s running with its nose to a high-definition screen that’s flashing horror scenes in your mind—the what-ifs that you never want to believe can happen—but by thinking of them, they might. Do this enough and cancer, heart disease, diabetes and an assortment of other body-breakdown diseases move in while your sanity moves out.
But there’s a simple solution. And it’s as easy as taking your next breath: deep breathing. Because once the initial fright wears off you tend to barely breathe at all.
It sounds so Eastern. So simplistic. But therein lies the beauty. Don’t overlook an award-winning rose just because it’s growing in your own back yard.
Now, the obvious: inhale as if you’re inflating your stomach. Then, blow out the CO2 until your abdomen is sucked inward like a flat tire. Surprisingly, a number of wonderful things happen through this exchange. For one, oxygen saturates your cells, returning your body to an aerobic state for energy production, allowing it to rid itself of lactic acid buildup in the tissues (a major cause of pain). The acidity level decreases, inducing a favorable environment for immunity. Finally, your parasympathetic system takes over so your stock-up-the-refrigerator and take-out-the-trash body maintenance can resume. Your mind clears. Peace returns. You’re on vacation from stress even though everything still seems to be going wrong.
But there’s more. Who do you think got you breathing in the first place? Is it possible that you haven’t given Him much thought since? I dare say that this very thought of breathing God can propel you into a new dimension of living. And you can do it continually, moment by moment. You breathe in the very breath of God’s Holy Spirit. And then you breathe His love back to Him as an “I love you.” Over and over… all day long. Especially when the negatives pound you in the head. Breathe! Breathe Him in. Breathe Him out. Again, tell Him how much you love Him. It’s something easy you can do. And strangely enough, if you’re going along and you forget about God, another stressor can knock on your door to remind you. And you say, “Oh yeah, I forgot to breathe Him in.” So, even stress can be your friend.
You’ll see. Something changes. The bounced check, the lost job, the illness that stops you in your tracks. All become wisps of smoke as you begin to live in the rarefied air of God’s kingdom instead of in your own anaerobic world.
Breathe … as if your life depends on it.