Dread fear can be overcome. You might be able to see where it’s been after it’s gone, but it does go. We must be prepared to give up trying to control everything. Control and excessive worry are responses to fear. Anxiety is an outgrowing of fearful beliefs. Fearful beliefs are are conflicts about the world. Some fearful beliefs are well based on experience and are real. But we suffer from many false beliefs. Honesty and a willingness to see the truth changes these things. It is not a magic wand but an educational experience.
A few years ago I was walking to a rugby match. I had bought a season ticket in order to get me out and about more. The ground wasn’t too far away, but far enough to stretch myself. As I was walking the pain started to well up in me. The anxiety shortened my breathing and my chest started to tighten. As soon as this happens the thinking turns painful (if it wasn’t already).
I remembered a line from Marianne Williamsons book Return To Love about sending love outward, even if you don’t know where it’s going. Just send it out and it will return to you in some way. (I think it was something like that). And so I started saying out loud and under my breath, to God or the universe, ‘I love you, I love you’. By the time that I got to the match all had changed. It was a marvelous thing. Even the thought of love has the power to change things.
OK. you’ve been listening to me for long enough (or maybe not as the analytics suggest:) So now it’s your turn. If you have a story of hope or progress to tell, I would like to post it here on this blog. If you are not the person that you used to be and are looking toward living this life, then let me know. I will be happy to post your words. Around 500/600 would be good. Also any suggestions or help with this blog would be appreciated.
To be sure, the movement of the human heart around fear is a complicated thing. Some people say that fear is either about something that we might lose or something that we fear that we will not get. I’m not sure that it is that simple. I know fear comes in many shapes ands forms and to be able to tame it is often not an overnight thing. Let us then think of the antidote or healing opposite of fear. The saying goes that fear knocked the door and faith opened it, it was then that fear disappeared. I tend to think that fear is a way of seeing things and so the healing opposite must also be a way of seeing things. Hence the other side of fear is love. Love does not see what a fearful heart sees. Marianne Williamson’s book A Return To Love takes a different view of things and I found some of it very helpful.
Learning about the way we tick and how we fit into the world around us is a lifelong thing. When we are ill with worry, an understanding like this might seem like an un-do-able chore. But when we start behaving and thinking differently based upon our spiritual change, then such a ‘chore’ becomes a part of our daily living and we are happy for it. In seeking change we are already building a new life.
Why does some change only seem to last a short while and other change become part of everyday living? I hope that you don’t expect me to answer this right here in a few sentences! I think real change in character – one that bears fruit – is always wrapped up in thoughts of God. Don’t worry this is not a sermon. My point is that when I force a habit upon myself or put my will against something that I do which causes me problems I usually end up leaning back towards that thing at sometime or other.
Fighting against oneself is not fun. Constantly pulling oneself up about things is not fun. And so we have to conclude that it either will always be like this for us or there is another way. If there is another way then what is it? This is called searching! As soon as one starts searching then we can keep the thought with us that whatever changes that come are real ones that make a difference to our life’s.
It is usually more painful coming to a decision that carrying it out. Fretting and worrying about the outcome, especially about fear of confrontation, stifles the truth of the matter. If we have weighed up the situation then we must find courage and take the next step. Delaying only causes more anxiety.
It is sometimes in fear and trembling that we work out our salvation and at others with ease and understanding. Whatever the case may be we must face up to what we have to do.
Daily routines can be boring and mind numbing. But when we are on the comeback trail from serious emotional disturbances, we need simple, safe routines in order to build familiarity. Familiarity reduces fear, which in turn eases our mind and allows us to start thinking straight. I know that I have said this before but it is worth keeping in mind.
At the beginning of my new life, when I was journeying into the unkown, I used to write a list before I went to bed. The list would be all the things that I needed/wanted to do the next day. I would leave it on the floor by the front door, which meant that I couldn’t leave without it. When this practice became a habit I would almost always complete the chore list. In time this gave me a sense of confidence that the world was no longer beating me up.
It is time to move on when the routines have become to easy and quite boring!
There is no such thing as perfection. In fact when I think that there is I am usually in trouble with self esteem problems. Perfectionism is some kind of sickness. It doesn’t allow a person to walk away from a finished task or the like. Perfection obsesses on detail and loses peripheral vision. Being absorbed and wanting to do my best are one thing, but being unable to leave a thing alone becasue it isn’t quite right are sure steps toward unhappiness. Perfectionism is a smoke and mirror game behind which lie other emotional issues.
The next time that you say that you are a perfectionist. Pause and ask yourself what you really mean when you say that. And also ask yourself to whom are you speaking these words and why?