Thought for today:
We all have fears. Some are rational and keep us safe, like looking before crossing the street. Others hold us back from making progress, and are debilitating.
For example, take a small fear that we may have learned – to fear technology. We are afraid we will break something on the computer, or that we will become overwhelmed by it and lose ourselves.
Fears is primitive. It slows the blood flow to our prefrontal cortex, so that our primitive survival instinct (in the lower levels of the brain) can take over. This is fine for wild animals doing battle for survival, but not for normal human life.
How do we restore reason to our thoughts and actions? How do we begin to let go of irrational fear and start to grow again?
A member shares:
“I had countless fears before coming into the program. I was afraid of creditors. I was afraid of trying something new. I was afraid of the mailbox. I was afraid of my boss and co-workers.
“My fears distanced me from the people I loved, and kept me isolated and unproductive in life.
“As I thought through my fears, I realized that nothing was really destined to hurt me. It was just phantom feelings, and when I meditated on them, I gained perspective.”
Fear puts us in survival mode, and turn off what the body perceives as “unnecessary functions” in the body, such as language skills. But we are not wild animals, and we need our language skills most at such a time.
As we learn about ourselves and our motives through taking a personal inventory of our fears, we grow in wisdom, and fear diminishes. The knee-jerk reaction to life gives way to an understanding that fear is manageable. And not only that, fear is challenge-able. We can explore fear’s opposites – generosity of spirit, and trust that we can learn and grow with each new event.
Am I letting go of unnecessary fear?
Meditation for today:
If fear strikes, we should stop and breathe slow, deep belly breaths. As we breath deeply into the abdomen when threatened, it reminds our body that it is ok to let go of things that are not worth holding on to.
Affirmation for today:
“Just for today, I will be unafraid.”
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