Last time we talked about how our scared one is constantly vigilant and is chronically stressed. Then we saw the connection between chronic stress and a compromised immune defense system.  It's a paradox.
Our psychological defenses stay up and our immune defenses go down.  The result?  We can get sick.
 
And this morning I get this from Inward/Outward, a daily bite of soul food I receive.  Its author is Philip Slater and it is from Wealth Addiction:
 
"Vigilance and joy cannot coexist…. Joy is an emotion that only occurs when we let go of all watchfulness, all concern about outcomes, and simply let experience flood in and feelings flood out. Joy is incompatible with search behavior because there is nothing missing. Joy is feeling complete, full. Wealth addiction is feeling empty."

So I figure it's a synchronous event and that I should pay attention.  And I think he makes a great point. Being constantly vigilant and being joyful are mutually exclusive.  It also makes me see that being in a chronic stress state is to be joyless.

And if that is true then the remedy for being chronically stressed is to go for what brings us joy. What is it that brings you joy?  What are the circumstances in which you can drop your guard, drop your defenses and risk being vulnerable.  Do that.  For me, true joy comes from first getting my ego in check so I can relax.  Then I can feel the joy of deeply connecting with another person that I let past my perimeter to connect with my authentic and imperfect self.  That may not seem like a lot but it's enough,"because there is nothing missing."

No longer alone on guard duty, being in the guard house with a friend is also one of the best stress management strategies ever.