Nathan half awoke in the middle of the night, asking me what was on my mind. I responded, “everything.” That’s all he inquired in between dreams and snores, sensing my restlessness, before he rolled back over and resumed his nightly excursions. I envied his childlike sleep in that moment, frustrated with my over-active mind. I had already laid there for hours, watching him breathe as my thoughts raced from one thing to the next, not following any particular pattern. I was grateful for him then, as I am now – he, the father of my son, and the love in my life. But as I watched him breathe, I also imagined him not breathing, and the grip around my heart grew tighter, throwing my body into shivers and plunging my mind into darkness. Fear took over my being as it has many times in the past two weeks, poking my neurosis with the question, “what if something would happen to him?” He gets irritated when my brain gets consumed with such paranoia, but the fear seems solid and ever-present and I struggle with both, facing it and making it go away. I’ve become scared of losing the ones who I care about. I’m afraid that losing everything of value is somehow a lesson in this lifetime that I need to learn. I’m petrified of being alone. In the frequent times that these fears arise, I strive to reach deep into the vast knowledge I’ve picked up over the years, perhaps over lifetimes, towards the source that tells me to trust. I recall the Buddhist and yogic teachings of non-attachment and the impermanence of life. It makes sense and settles my mind for some time until the part of me that’s human, the part that is so attached to this life and the people in it, the part that’s so deeply emotional, rebels against these concepts. After all, that’s all that they are – just concepts. I don’t know how to align my experience with these beautiful philosophies. I get them, grasp them fully with my intellect, but my experience just doesn’t comprehend. My heart loves, so deeply, and with that love comes attachment. Is this the game of ignorance? Am I completely blinded by this illusion of life? How do I embody the wisdom that resides deep down, the insights that come from beyond just this life? How can I learn to live out these concepts that make sense on one level and don’t on another? The idea of an equanimous mind is lovely, but how can I not be reactive to something as tragic as death touching a life that keeps going? Where does the grey between experience and theory become distinguishable?