Some live with fear every day. Many live in a perpetual state of war, others with anxieties that seep into the glimpses of joy, peace and connections available in life.
Here are the three top fears that are pretty much everyone’s, certainly in the fortunate West:
- We will do anything to avoid feeling pain.
- Public Speaking – and universally there is one clear winner.
We already have enough, had enough of it in our own lives, it makes us breathless, it grinds us down. The amount of storage in our bodies we now use to mash pain into, grows each day, clogging arteries, dulling metabolism…
It’s a wonder we haven’t died yet. How much more can we take?
Still, we take more.
Have you ever wondered why more people don’t die in cars, with so many driving around every day?
That’s because we, underneath everything, wield control of our emotions and consequently much of our physical health. … and fear can keep us alive even when it’s scaring us to death.
So we bury more pain.
We freeze-dry to reduce the incoming sludge from daily negative media, we build faster elevators to have us move evermore swiftly into our heads, running down tight little analytical corridors to the panic room. There we isolate from the river of tragedy, sipping on a cup of soothing warm liquid with warm toast as we ponder our work project, our shopping list, tonight’s dinner inspired by a Facebook photo.
Even now and again we spit out a bit of pain, like a breadcrumb under the tongue, that leaked out of its tightly sealed storage in our internal holding bays, projectile vomiting it towards the nearest trigger: a cheery face, an exuberant child who’s not acting like an adult, an arrogant driver, an unconscious passerby, an emotional teenager… someone we believe can secretly see who we are, really. Someone who is still more sensitive than we are trying not to be.
So we launch an attack. It can feel good, even exhilarating to let some tension out.
We watch their faces crumple with a tiny uninhibited sense of satisfaction, feeling the power of making change happen, even in our own little world’s.
Then, quickly to guilt, shame, regret, more to store inside.
Thankfully, the ability for us to feel anything but perhaps four emotions these days is strengthening, so we can filter and sometimes even ignore our natural human response to inflicting pain upon others.
We are the little man sitting inside the Dr Who Dalek. We are the Emperor in his new clothes.
It’s said that man creates war to express his anger.
So, deal with your internal tornado. There’s plenty of anger management tools and teachers in your sphere. You cannot do this alone as you have a manipulative, slippery mind who will duck, dive and dodge whenever you get close to something really authentic within you.
Don’t follow governments, politicians, celebrities, reality stars, newsreaders, your parents.
Find your own voice.
Remember the power of self-revolution.
Regardless of your age or the busyness of your life, you still have time to make significant change inside yourself. If there’s anything worse than harbouring pain for all the years you have, it’s harbouring pain for another year, another month, another day. You are still alive. You are not a newborn in an Iraqi hospital that’s just been bombed. You are not a child refugee using all her energy to avoid the night shadows.
You are still alive. Act now.
Anger, used consciously, can change anything.
We judge others by their behaviour, yet ourselves by our intentions. Practice doing this the other way around.
Cynicism and negativity are lazy habits. Resign from the unconscious collective of drones who disconnect. Question everything but stay open to personal experiences that offer alternative perspectives.
Learn from the resilience of children, and their capacity to access all that joy you’ve frozen over time. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.
Treat the intensity of fear like dark chocolate, by only allowing yourself to feel it for 5-10 mins a week. Just enough to open you to new adventure and acts of courage, but not enough to shut you down and have you run inwards.
Develop the discipline of gratitude in everyday life. The stronger this gets, the more power you have to move through your obstacles
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