Giving Up Fear for Lent
“Eighty percent of all choices are based on fear. Most people don’t choose what they want; they choose what they think is safe.”
~ Phil McGraw
[Caveat: Like nearly everything any of us utter, the above sentiment is only as true as the speaker and perceiver believe it to be. We’ve established that long ago. Besides the absolute basics — I am. I am here. So are you. There are others here. — everything else is a quasi-hypnotic Illusion (delusion if an individual is not aware and has not examined these beliefs) we pretend to be “truth” at a certain time based on collective mass consciousness agreement (the sun is a god. There are many gods. There is only one god. The earth is flat. The earth is spherical. Etc.)
With that said, it is still beneficial, and fun, to explore the various ideas and beliefs that the lot of us put out there into the space that connects us all. The ideas can then be examined and explored, contemplated, agreed or disagreed with, amended or improved. Conclusions can be drawn. Our evolution is served through these conclusions; through a deeper understanding of who we are, where we are and more importantly who we want to be.
As long as we continue to remember that these are beliefs and not truths, because we are deliberately choosing to believe them in the moment because they serve us in some way, and that they can change when or if we decide to change them, all is well. Problems arise when we or others forget this and start believing that something believed is “truth”. Sometimes big problems, like war. Usually the problems are smaller in scope though, like believing things or aspects of ourselves or others or the world are “real” or can’t be changed or are “just meant to be”. “That’s just the way it is” is the common response, along with a sigh, when we’ve temporarily lost our perspective.
As long as we maintain our perspective, recognizing that — no matter how solid or deep or meaningful or real things or ideas seem to us — they’re still just beliefs, we can explore these things freely and hopefully learn in the process. End of caveat.]
Regarding the above idea about fear being a primary motivator, I am not familiar with the author. But I do tens to agree with it. I am not one for percentage statistics. In the bigger picture they’re only useful short term. Very short term. And only in very controlled environments. Statistics of any kind. So saying something like “80% of…” is a quaint notion; naive. Especially a sweeping generalization about the whole human race; any sentence that contains the word “we” or “most people”.
But in general I still agree with the basic idea of it, the intention behind it. Coincidentally i had this realization several times myself recently. A few times over the last few days. Recognizing after deep quiet contemplation certain decisions I have made whose real impetus was fear of something rather than pure desire for the decision itself. It’s VERY subtle though. We don’t KNOW that’s what we’re doing. Acting out of fear. It’s hidden deep beneath the surface. In our sub-sub conscious if you will. It’s only something we can FEEL now and then. It’s a crazy reality when you think about it. Choosing to do or not do something because we are afraid of something else rather than because we want to do it.
But I do believe we can overcome this predilection through deliberately living more deliberately. Sounds tricky. And easier said than done. And I’m sure it is. But I think the key lies in staying centered, grounded, quiet, in contemplation, at tuning to our intuition as often and as much as possible, and maintaining as close a connection with pure Source energy as possible. That way we are more aware of when we are feeling fear. More aware when we are feeling afraid, and more importantly when feeling inclined to act on it.
I know a girl who used to live in fear. 24/7. You’d never know it unless you knew her very well because she came off so bold and arrogant and bossy. But those are dead giveaways to someone who is afraid all the time. One minute she’d be acting like a tyrannical snobby maniac and three hours later she’d be cowering like a little girl, afraid of what people thought of her or if she was doing the right thing… All fear. But dare to suggest to her that she let go of the fear and make decisions based on desire instead and she would go right back into denial and vehemently deny that there was no way in hell that she was afraid of anything. Which would only push her further towards making the same damn decision she was going to make — regardless of how dangerous or illegal or unethical it may have been — just to prove to you that she wasn’t feeling fear.
That’s what we call fear of being afraid. Of people thinking you’re afraid. Fear of fear. So afraid that you can’t even admit you’re afraid. That’s when fear has for the best of you. Controlling you. Weird right? Yet we all possess this tendency to feel that AND to deny its there. We become so accustomed to repressing the fear that we aren’t even aware it’s there most of the time. Frankly I think it’s genetically inbred in us as a survival tool. But that doesn’t make it a good thing.
For this Lent I thought long and hard about what if anything I would give up, or add in. Adding things can be just as challenging and rewarding as giving things up I’ve found. Prayer more often during each day is the closest I came to finding something that really resonated with me. But after ruminating on the quote above and the realizations below, I think I’ll also add this too as a practice for the Lenten season: stay more quiet and grounded, more in tune with how I am feeling — more in FEEL — and really try to catch and discover each and every time I feel that I might be doing something or saying something even or making a decision based on fear or being afraid. Then take a breath and then decide to NOT do that. Ask myself “what do I REALLY want to do?” And choose to do THAT instead. The goal isn’t to get rid of fear. Fear is a healthy character trait to possess. It can keep us and the people we love alive. But the goal is to not let ourselves make decisions out of fear.
They say “do what scares you the most and you may find that you’re rewarded the most in life”. I’m not much for platitudes. Especially not if they compel people to just go off doing stupid things just because they’re frightened of it. But I see the value in the intention behind this one. And let’s face it, our greatest fears often aren’t the things we usually think they are. Getting attacked by a shark, getting raped, going to prison, sky diving etc. Usually our greatest fears are more about people not approving of us or not liking us or our work or our ideas or actions or failing at something even after working hard at it. These are fears I believe we can wrestle control over and even master.
Will keep you posted. Good creating to you too if you have any plans for a Lenten discipline this year. We’re all in this together. Let’s kick butt! (And remember you don’t HAVE to be Christian to take advantage of this very spiritually fulfilling season of a Lent. Just a curious brave and soulful person who wants more out of life than the usual everyday. If that’s you, go for it!)
Peace Love Freedom beauty Truth Love
– Posted by The Ambassador using BlogPress on an iPhone 8s Custom