In Life’s Dance, Do You Partner With What You Want Or What You Fear?
If you are resisting something, you are feeding it. Any energy you fight, you are feeding. If you are pushing something away, you are inviting it to stay.
– Michael Singer
Every day in life, we experience fear in some way. Some days it feels like the wolf is at the door. As he claws at the door you can see it starting to splinter apart. He is fiercely growling, as he is threatening your life. Your heart is pounding so loudly it almost drowns out the wolf’s noises. Other times, you can hear the wolf in the distance, howling and teasing you that he is coming. You can hear his claws as he paces around and around the house. But he doesn’t try to come in. He is content to pace outside and torment you that he might try to come in. Some of these fears are false events, that we think might be coming true in our life. We worry at them, we think about them constantly. We feel the non-ending stress with headaches and stomach aches. We can’t sleep without nightmares.
The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts, than you are in the thoughts themselves – that is the day you will find your way out.
– Michael Singer
Other fears are things that have happened to us, that we are afraid will happen again. Traumatic events that replay in our minds. Some of these events will take professional counseling to get over, others are something that we need to work through and release. I have a process that I use when the event has too much pain contained within it. I review the trauma and deal with releasing as much as I can. Then I mentally pack the rest of it into a box and put it on a shelf. I label the box with a date to reopen it.
We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
– Carlos Castenada
On that date, I again work with the trauma and release another portion of it. Then I repack it into a smaller box, labeled with a new date. I continue the process until the last of the trauma has been released. I know that I have reached that stage for two reasons. (1) I can touch the trauma, and there is no longer a triggered reaction to it. (2) There is nothing left to put into a smaller box. I can then give thanks that I had the strength, will, and courage to come through this trauma with the grace of God.
What you resist persists. And only what you look at, and own, can disappear. You make it disappear by simply changing your mind about it.
– Neal Donald Walsch
Part of the releasing of the pain, is finding one small thing that was a positive life lesson. I look at it through a strangers eye. I look for something that I would say as a stranger, to someone who have experienced that trauma. I stop being the victim. I stop being in the trauma. I step outside the drama. I look for how it strengthened the persons character. How they would be able to show more compassion and empathy for others now that they understand this experience. I keep looking for some nugget of gold. When I find it, I can release that much pain from the box. Eventually the box is empty of pain, and instead of pain, I now have a room filled with priceless experiences.
Opportunities to find deep powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.
– Joseph Campbell
Some of our fears are not worrying about something bad happening to us. Some of our fears are about how we are judging ourselves. We fear being wrong. We fear making mistakes. We fear being left all alone. We fear being abandoned. We fear disappointing those we love the most by not being able to live up to their expectations. We fear not being able to be what they are trying to make us be. And we are right, because if we try to be something that we aren’t eventually we are going to fail.
I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.
– Bruce Lee
So what do we do with our world of fears? We don’t resist them, because that just makes them bigger and harder to overcome. Instead we get busy with looking inside our own hearts and minds. We dig in the cave where the fear has rooted itself. We start digging it up. We get curious about what planted it in that spot. We get nosy about what other interpretation could be possible as we examine the roots of the fear. Then we start digging up each individual root of the fear plant, making sure that we don’t leave any roots behind. Then we take it out of the dark cave into the bright sunlight. By taking action and getting curious about the fear, we let go of the pain it was causing. By taking action we release the doubts the fear has created and replace those doubts with courage and confidence.
Sometimes what you fear most is the very thing that will set you free.
– Robert Tew
By transplanting this fear out is the warm sunshine, we have faced the worst that the fear had to offer and we have come out of the battle victorious. Not because we killed the fear, but because we transformed it into something even more powerful. We transformed it into the treasures of dreams. Of achievements. Of courage. Of gratitude and happiness. Of having the best adventures. The best gift of all, is to truly know yourself.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
– Jack Canfield