By Stew Bittman, D.C.
A few months ago I embarked on a monthly lecture series in the office, and later today will be installment #3 (watch for the tapes!). This one is entitled, "A life without fear" (thank you Fred Barge), and will focus on the application of chiropractic philosophy into one's life. As I'm sitting here meditating on a rough outline for the talk, my mind keeps rehashing the same old things: the universe conspiring on our behalf, the greatest doctor in the world residing within us, the miracle of Innate guidance, getting out of the head and into the heart, Twinkies, 600 octillion things going on in the body in every second, and basically all the stuff I've been speaking and writing about over and over again for years. And yet underneath all that chatter, a phrase that I've heard Sigafoose utter many times keeps echoing thru the recesses of my consciousness: "it doesn't make any difference." Yes, perhaps the greatest lesson to learn in order to live a life without fear is simply that. It doesn't make any difference. It'll be a short talk today!
Indeed, as I go thru this life as consciously as possible, reading and writing and meditating and growing and learning, that phrase is probably the most important thing I've learned. And as I look back on the growth and evolution of my practice and my marriage and my self-awareness, maybe it's the only thing I've really learned. Less and less seems to really make any difference. My brain still wants to fret and moan about the most ridiculous of inanities and insanities, and yet I have learned to laugh at it more and more. Hillary and I still occasionally deal with the same infantile issues as we did when we were 25 years younger, but we have learned to laugh about it. My mission has become more serious, my opportunities and challenges have multiplied geometrically, my life has become increasingly dedicated to service, and at the same time my sense of humor and peace and lightness has also grown, as I have come to realize that very few things are really important.
It's hard to be afraid when you're laughing. And now I chuckle at many things that used to make me cringe in fear. Things like: people's opinion of me, numbers and statistics, missed appointments, rejection, failure, success, abandonment, relationships, lawyers, government, etc., etc., etc. I see now that I was mostly afraid of things not going the way I wanted them to, and that I spent an immeasurable amount of energy and focus and time attempting to force a round universe into the square peg of my idea of reality. I know all you control freaks can relate. I see, too, therefore, that what I used to call service to God and to others was really service to me and my expectations. And now, tho the dentist or a cop driving behind me will still bring up a little adrenaline release, most of the time I'm aware enough of my connection to Innate to realize I am taken care of, protected, and nurtured in enormous love. Most of time I have too much faith to be afraid. Most of the time I bask in the knowledge that I am inseparable from the things that are truly real. Things like truth, love, friendship, sharing one's gifts and renouncing the fruit, wholeness, holiness, and Spirit. And as a chiropractor, I can help others to re-discover these things. That really does make a difference.
- - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Stew Bittman maintains a box practice in South Lake Tahoe, CA along his wife Hillary and daughter Ari.