Spiritual ECG Time

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The mother of one of my close friends has a rare heart condition. They call it Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia or PAT for short. It doesn’t show on ECG machines during a regular scan, so it needs to be done when a palpitation strikes. It was lucky for her that it struck when she was about to be scanned, so they could diagnose her illness. Otherwise, there would have been no way of knowing…

I thought about this story when I woke up this morning, because my stomach was twisting and I knew exactly what it was. It was fear, a virus that disguises itself with many faces while having the same effect on our systems. It happens to me a couple of times every year and proceeds to paralyze me. It disappears if I can manage to feed it, but it attacks me again as soon as it finds a new avenue to explore… This rascal and I have been fighting each other for years, and here it was again this morning. I spoke to it and told it that I knew what was happening. It was writing a good story in its own way. “You’re a shameless little hypocrite, aren’t you? I know your games,” I told it.

I then remembered the PAT heart condition. I was so wrapped up in the fear’s story that I was continuously feeding it. Let’s say that money is getting short, for example, so the rascal suddenly starts thrashing everywhere and messes me up. I’ve thankfully never lost everything, nor have I ever been left hungry and homeless. Money has always come in some way or another when I’ve fallen on hard times, but the fear doesn’t listen, nor does it care: It enters my system through a weak point and paralyzes me straight away. So I toil away, trying to work harder than I ever have before… Yet making money is not the answer here. It might relieve the virus’s symptoms for a while, but the virus is still there, hiding in the shadows…

Something then dawned on me. Mornings like these present a great opportunity to locate and diagnose the problem. These moments are like when PAT strikes, and if you can perform a spiritual ECG at the right moment, you can actually see what’s been bugging you. Once you diagnose your spiritual disease, you can immediately begin the process of treatment. To put a long story short, I had a great opportunity this morning as I stood there grimacing at the twisting sensation in my stomach. As soon as I realized what was happening, I started taunting it back: “I hear you fear! Boo!”

This happens not just in our individual lives. There are times when we have a social, PAT-like condition in our communities. The moments of crisis present a potential for diagnosis, even if it seems like all we do is just to snarl and grouch about the system. Such moments are abundant in our recent turbulent times, so we need to take the opportunity to perform an ECG…

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