Say YES To YOU By Saying NO To FEAR
For the past year or so I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself re “fear”. I’ve been delving into “A Course In Miracles” (even facilitated a group that studied it) and practicing the very useful ideas presented in David Friedman’s “Thought Exchange”. This work helped me see Fear in a different light. I am learning that Fear is useless. This led me to begin my quest to handle fear and not let it handle me!
I discovered that I’d been taught to be afraid of things when I was young and that by the time I was an adult I didn’t even realize it was “fear” I was experiencing, when the fearful thought I was taught (the thought caused the Fear) came into my head.
There are more elements involved with dealing with “fear” than I ever imagined there would be. The first thing I had to do was realize the feeling that I was feeling was, indeed, Fear. I felt stressed, but didn’t even realize it was fear that was stressing me. Duh! It didn’t occur to me that fear is THE thing that causes stress. When I was growing up it seemed as though fear was important and so was stress. If you weren’t doing all you should be doing (studying, engaging in team sports, getting A in your exam, looking sweet and attracting the top boys to ask you to the prom, etc. etc. etc. etc. I felt that I was being bad if I wasn’t feeling stressed. I was “supposed” to be stressed. My dad was wonderful and I adored him and have adored thinking about him throughout the thirty-five years since he’s made his transition. However, I now realize that he taught me that it was important to feel stressed until everything that needed doing got done and – that, of course, would never happen – since there were always new things that needed to be done! Now I understand why my dear ex-husband would often say, “WW rides again!” WW stood for Worry Wart.
I also didn’t realize that the thoughts that would come into my head -when various things took place or thoughts that came up for me when I was placed in certain circumstances – were thoughts that were taught to me. They weren’t thoughts I actually came up with myself. They were so close to the thoughts I was taught to have as a child that they weren’t the thoughts I’d choose now if I was choosing freely and choosing from a clear mind.
The basics of those thoughts were taught to me when I was too little to realize they weren’t the truth and weren’t my own. We’re all taught to have thoughts that will keep us safe. However so many parents – loving parents – think that to keep their child safe they have to teach them to fear dangerous things. If we could have all been taught to quiet down and go within to get clear directions of what to do in a situation
I’ve begun learning that worrying and fear instead of been important in helping me succeed are THE elements that will keep me from succeeding.
Next month I’m going to talk about the techniques that have been helping me get rid of those taught useless fearful thoughts! You read right. I wrote “useless”! (Fearful thoughts ARE useless!) We’re usually taught to have them by well meaning, in fact, loving people. That’s why they don’t seem “useless” to us. But take it from me they are useless. Fear is not the thing that leads to wise choices. Fear exists only in our mind. Fear isn’t truth.
I’ll also expand on this next month. I’m writing about this topic because I think learning that fearful thoughts are useless will help me be ME. Fearful thoughts keep me from being me. I think (from wisdom and not from fear) that this may be the most important thing I’ve ever learned!
I hope that those of you who are younger than I am – and most of you are – don’t have to wait until you’re in your seventies to discover that “fear” isn’t useful. Yes – it’s wise to step back if a car is coming. However, being afraid might lead us to step back in the wrong direction rather than stepping away using the wisest of safest direction.
I’m ending this column with a quote I found in Erik Butterworth’s writings:
“The word secure comes from two small Latin words: se meaning “without” and cure meaning “care”–being without care, freedom from anxiety. Victor Hugo articulates this very special sense in this lovely couplet:
“Be like the bird
That pausing in her flight
While on boughs too slight
Feels them give way Beneath her, and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings.”