Are You Afraid of Mermaids and Unicorns?
How many times have we created a worse case scenario in our minds and convinced ourselves that it was our reality? If someone does not call you back right away, do you create a story that there is something wrong with YOU? When your checking account balance drops are you suddenly picturing yourself having to move out of your home and live on the streets? Many of us have become addicted to the negative feelings associated with fear and continue to create more situations that perpetuate more fear. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Fear is the same as faith in that we believe in something that we cannot see. However, having faith means believing in something far better and trusting that things will turn out for the best. Sadly, most of us chose to put our trust and energy into fear rather than faith. There is something inside of us that creates fear. It is the unknown, the lack of information that we have and the uncertainty of what is to come in the future. Putting our rational mind in control causes us to create and believe any story we can possibly fabricate regardless of the negative emotions that it creates.
We have an innate quality in each of us that we were born with as part of our survival instincts. That quality was instilled in us as part of our natural survival instincts. Fear can be a good thing as it was meant to protect us from danger. In earlier days, when hunters would spot a bear or mountain lion, their fear would kick in, and they would get a surge of adrenalin and enable them to choose whether they need to fight for survival or flee to safety.
Many of us grew up in dysfunctional homes where the environment was unpredictable or unstable. Whether it was an alcoholic, emotionally unbalanced or raging parent, we learned that we were in a constant state of survival. We lived with uncertainty and inconsistency. With the constant stress on our systems, we began to live in a chronic state of fear. It was about survival. We learned to do what we needed just to survive. It could be avoidance, physically leaving the situation, getting angry, emotionally dissociating or emotionally shutting down. The fear continued to run rampant in our systems and it became a way of life for many of us.
Our society promotes a fear-driven life through the media, politics, social networking and other world news. The media is constantly keeping us locked in a chronic state of fear. When you turn on the news, the internet or pick up the newspaper, within minutes you will have a reason to be afraid. Whether it is a deadly flu or a mall shooting, we have no choice but to be afraid. Most people continue to watch day after day as situations worsen and more tragic stories arise. They have a subconscious need to feel the fear. It may have come become a familiar, albeit comfortable, place to live. Fear is simply created by a single thought. This thought then creates negative feelings, which leads to emotional discomfort or even trauma.
So how do we stop the madness? Start by eliminating any situations that create fear that you have control over. Stop watching the news, social media on the internet and reading the newspaper. We have no control over what happens in the world so if we get real, we will realize that the information we get from these sources really does nothing for us but create fear. You have heard the saying, “ignorance is bliss?” It is true!
Remove unsafe people from your life. If you have someone who keeps you in a perpetual state of physical or emotional fear, it is time to reevaluate the relationship and decide if you want to continue to have someone in your life that adds more fear.
Aside from these items, here are some steps you can take to move past it:
The first step is to recognize what we are doing.
When we live in fear, we are putting our faith in our own mortality, which then limits us and keeps us in a place of loneliness, and living in scarcity. We must learn to trust that there is a power or force greater than us, call it the Universe, God, Higher Power, Source or whatever else best fits you. The more fearful we are, the more we feel the need to control our life by controlling everything and everyone around us to avoid loneliness, poverty and pain.
Second, stop the thoughts as quickly as you catch them. The quicker we catch ourselves, the easier it is to stop. We are big fans of Byron Katie and her 4 questions she suggests to bring us back to love. When you have a fearful thought:
1. Ask yourself if the thought is true?
2. Can you absolutely believe it is true?
3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be (how would you feel) without the thought?
Lastly, you can counteract the thought. When we ask the fourth question, as stated above, we somehow start to feel better and are releasing our attachment to the initial thought. I like to remind myself of the four core beliefs that are our birthright and keep us connected to source. I am safe, I am loved, I am worthy (and will be provided for), I am whole and I am complete. When you are faced with fear, there is some thought that you have created in your mind that contradicts one of these beliefs. This is what separates us from source and the peace that we are meant to live in.
Fear directs our attention to the future instead of keeping us in the present moment. If we can stay focused on the present, we can get to that place of peacefulness. Most of what we create is based on situations from the past and stories that we have made up. Very little of our fear is actually warranted unless we have actually experienced something and have a legitimate reason to believe that it will happen again.
About the Author
Tracy Todaro is Co-Founder of Invigorated Solutions (see http://www.invigoratedsolutions.com) She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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