Fear or safety, it’s up to you

Thoughts to Ponder

 “Protection comes from never choosing to believe you need any.”

Mutant Message from Forever*

Fear is one of our most powerful emotions. It protects us, but can also prevent us from exploring the world. We want to protect our children so teach them to be afraid of many life experiences.  Our lessons are valuable and well intentioned. Perhaps we’re a bit too protective at times.

Other times we overreact to scary situations. One adult acquaintance is terrified of dogs because a large, black dog bit her when she was four. No amount of calm discussion and comparisons that “This isn’t the dog that bit you; He’s brown not black; He’s small not big;” could convince her that it was safe to be near any canine.

Currently many of us fear the results of our upcoming presidential election. If this candidate wins, our country will go to hell in a hand-basket. If that candidate wins, our country will go to hell in a hand-basket. Our protection is to be informed, vote our choice and know that our country has solutions built into our founding documents. The Constitution gives us the power to remove incompetent or overreaching officials. It is a complicated, lengthy procedure designed to ensure that we, the voters, act thoughtfully and deliberately rather than in the anger or fear of the moment.

How do we know if we are acting purposefully? In the same book Morgan says,

“Observe yourself. It is perfectly all right to feel uncomfortable, just don’t deny or hide how you feel. From this we learn people can have differences and each is right for his or her own path. If you can’t honor your own feelings, it would be impossible to honor those of another.”

The biggest fear we all have to overcome is our fear of other human beings. A reasonable fear to be sure. Daily we hear of terrible crimes being committed. The perpetrator has what seems to be a valid reason for the action. Possibly that is to obtain a desired object or revenge, possibly to satisfy a religious tenet or political belief. The reasons are endless, and make perfect sense to the person whose behavior we observe.

There are a lot of ways to acknowledge and overcome concerns and fears. One way is to set our intention each day to be safe and protected. We can be alert to our surroundings. We can watch fewer scary movies. We can filter what we hear on the news to retain only the facts we need to know, rather than the fearful voice of the announcer. We can take reasonable precautions.

Years ago I worked in an office building situated in a run-down neighborhood. That location choice was made to encourage businesses to move to the area and to stimulate a community atmosphere. Some of my co-workers would not leave the building except to walk to and from their cars. A few of us would go for walks, alone or together, during our lunch breaks, shop in nearby stores, and generally act as if we worked in a more prosperous neighborhood. When questioned about my supposedly risky behavior I responded that I took reasonable precautions. I wore walking shoes, not high heels, so I could run if necessary. I wore pants or loose skirts, rather than tight skirts that would inhibit my stride. I carried a few dollars in my pocket instead of a purse that might tempt a thief. And I walked with a purpose, observing my surroundings rather than acting timid.

Those are simple solutions to one potentially frightening situation. We can face anything that comes our way if we choose to observe and face it with confidence.

Spirit: Thank you for giving us the ability to reason and made good decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. We know that by using that ability we can go through life with much less fear than we might otherwise do. We are also grateful for angelic protection. And, so it is.

* Morgan, Marlo, 1999, Mutant Message from Forever, page 249

** ibid, page 246

© by Sharon D. Dillon, October 20, 2016

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as a paperback or e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.

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Fear or courage

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face . . . You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Message

We all have fears, even those of us who think we are fearless. Some of us are afraid of spiders, flying or loud noises. Or we fear the dark, being alone or making a mistake. Each day, no matter how we try to plan our lives so we don’t encounter our fears, we face them anyway.

Many times our fears protect us from danger. We know that if we go swimming during a hurricane we will drown. If we play golf in thunder storm we have a good chance of being struck by lightning. Those fears are based on fact and have been proven many times. So our reactions to these events aren’t fear, but acting on knowledge, or what our parents called common sense.

Our worst fears are those involving the people who are closest to us. How do we know if he/she is our own true love? How will I feed my family if I lose my job? Am I a good parent? Will I ever follow my dream, or is this all there is? How do I tell my loved one that he/she needs professional help? What will happen if I become so disabled my family takes away my car keys? The list goes on and on. We all know the litany because we go through it almost daily, or even many times a day.

Often we allow our fears to control our lives by avoiding confrontations, high places or anything else that intimidates us. Usually our fears are based on previous experiences, especially fears of speaking up or challenging another’s statements. By avoiding these situations we live limited lives. It is only by standing up for our beliefs that we become the people we were meant to be. We were not put on this Earth to cower but to live fully.

In the quote at the top of this page Mrs. Roosevelt stated so clearly why we must face our fears. Only by doing “the thing which you think you cannot do,” can we grow to be better people than we were yesterday. Sometimes we have to face a situation many times before we can resolve it confidently.

Facing fear is like taking our turn at bat in a baseball game. Initially we learn that we don’t need to duck when we see the ball coming toward us. Then we get brave enough to swing the bat and feel warm inside. Then we hit the ball but it doesn’t go far, and we think we might learn how to play the game after all. Slowly we learn how to take a stance, hold the bat and swing. Finally, one day we step up to the plate, take a mighty swing and hit a home run. We did it!

As we become more confident in our own abilities, whether at home plate, in our families or on the job, so do others. We find that we are earning respect. Our friends ask for and listen to our advice when previously we asked them what to do. Doing what needs to be done makes us better people, someone we are proud to be. Learning to be the best we can be is why we were put on this earth.

Meditation

Creator spirit,
Thank you for teaching us that we learn by doing. Each attempt at a new skill gives us more confidence to do that thing and do it well. Facing fear is just another new skill we need to learn. Confidence doesn’t come easily. We have to learn and earn it. We thank you for presenting opportunities to help us grow into the people you want us to be. We thank you for the warm feeling you give us each time we learn a new skill, whether mechanical or psychological.
And so it is.

If you know someone who would appreciate reading “Thoughts to Ponder,” please suggest that he or she contact me at: energywriter@cox.net

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Author of one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

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