Don’t you love choosing a book from your own shelves? A friend gave me Hugh Prather’s Notes to Myself a few years ago and it beckoned to me today. One gem:
I’m convinced that this anxiety running through my life is the tension between what I “should be” and what I am. My anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it. It seems to begin whenever I smuggle into my mind an expectation about how I or others should be. It is the tension between my desire to control the world and the recognition that I can’t. “I will be what I will be” — where is the anxiety in that? Anxiety is the recognition that I might not reach the rung on the opinion-ladder I have just set for myself. I fear death most when I am about to exceed what I believe others think of me; then death threatens to cut me off from myself, because “myself” is not yet.