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, you will 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 you think might be coming true in your life. You worry at them, like the dog at a bone. You think about them constantly circling round them over and over. You feel the non-ending stress with headaches and stomach aches. You can’t sleep without nightmares.
Other fears are things that have happened to you, that you are afraid will happen again. Traumatic events that replay in your mind. Some of these events will take professional counseling to get over, others are something that you 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 Castaneda
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. Like touching a tooth ache, I touch it and it no longer causes pain. (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.
Part of releasing 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 had 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 person’s 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 your fears are not worrying about something bad happening to you. Some of your fears are about how you are judging yourself.
- You fear being wrong.
- You fear making mistakes.
- You fear being left all alone.
- You fear being abandoned.
- You fear disappointing those you love the most by not being able to live up to their expectations.
- You fear not being able to be what they are trying to make you be. And you are right. If you try to be something that you aren’t, eventually you 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 you do with your world of fears?
- Don’t resist them. That just makes them bigger and harder to overcome. Instead get busy with looking inside your own heart and mind.
- Dig in the cave where the fear has rooted itself. Dig it up.
- Get curious about what event planted it in that spot.
- Get nosy about what other interpretation could be possible as you examine the roots of the fear.
- Start digging up each individual root of the fear plant, making sure that you don’t leave any roots behind.
- Take it out of the dark cave into the bright sunlight.
- Taking action and getting curious about the fear, allows you to let go of the pain it was causing.
- Taking action you can release the doubts that the fear created and replace those doubts with courage and confidence.
By transplanting this fear out in the warm sunshine, you have faced the worst that the fear has to offer. You came out of the battle victorious.
Not because you killed the fear, but because you transformed it into something even more powerful. You transformed it into the treasures of dreams fulfilled. Of achievements accomplished. Of courage maintained. Of emotions generated such as gratitude and happiness. Of having the best adventures, the best stories to share with others. The best gift of all, is to truly know yourself.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear” – Jack Canfield