Troubleshooting the Anxious Heart


We learn by asking questions.

The car won't start. How do you fix it? First you must determine what is wrong. Is the engine getting gas? If not, maybe the fuel pump is shot, or maybe the gas tank is empty. If you determine the engine's getting gas, you may look at the battery. Is the battery dead? It may be old. Or maybe the alternator isn't re-charging. It could be a loose cable.

This process of systematically asking questions to find the root causes of a problem is called troubleshooting. We apply it to appliances and mechanical things all the time. For example, the television set isn't working. Is it plugged in? Is there a blown fuse in the basement?

By asking questions we identify or diagnose the problem so we can take appropriate action to remedy it.

When it comes to matters of the heart, can we not apply this same technique? Many times at the end of the day when we are anxious or stressed out we don't know how to deal with it and simply hope it will go away. Sometimes, there is an alternative. I've come to call it "troubleshooting the anxious heart." By asking questions we gain a better understanding of the root causes of our unease. The understanding we gain is an essential part of our making real progress toward personal wholeness.

With God's help I can face anything. I do not have to be afraid of what I'll find when I search my soul.