My friend Maureen Finney posted this message on Facedbook today and it jumped out at me and said “BOO!” and then giggled mischievously.
“When I scare myself, which I tend to do from time to time, I ask myself in this scarenerio….what if this were alright? What if nothing around me holds any powerful to make me unhappy?”
There are so many things in the world that could frighten us if we allow for it. Crime, illness, death, relationship shifts, job loss, financial challenges, trauma, public speaking..(I added that one, since allegedly it is the top fear according to a study that was done years ago…rating even higher than death; the joke being that some people would rather die than speak in public:) Not a fear I have ever had, since I have long loved being center stage. When we experience fear, we limit ourselves, paralyze ourselves, getting stuck in the mud and the muck. The fight, flight, freeze dynamic comes in handy if we are faced with a saber tooth tiger, literally or metaphorically, but if we maintain any of those states for too long, it is like revving an engine…eventually the motor burns out. I have met plenty of people in my lifetime that are limping along vehicles, wheels spinning, going nowhere. Instead of getting out of the symbolic car, they will often curse, yell, kick the tires, blame the car, blame the other drivers on the road of life, bemoan their history, despair that the road before them will be no more hospitable than the one on which they have traveled. That’s where Maureen’s logic comes in handy.
The truth is, the only thing that has power over us, is that which we allow and invite. Any time I am faced with ‘scary monsters’, I take the situation to inquiry, holding it up to the light and ask what I am making it mean. Rather than focusing on the worst possible outcome, I consider the best possible finale. I then conjure imagery and emotion that goes along with it. It feels like waving a magic wand and ta-da! the fog clears and the sun melts away the clouds and beams brightly through, illuminating the answer to the erstwhile frustrating dilemma. What’s right about this situation, rather than what’s wrong about it? We are pre-disposed and conditioned to be fault finding. We need to train ourselves to be solutions oriented.
I remember a metaphor about someone who is afraid of snakes waking up and seeing what looked like a coiled snake on their bedroom floor. Panic gripped them until they turned on the light and saw that it was just a pile of rope. Whew! The thing is, once we recognize the fears for what they are….we will never again be able to turn twine into a slithering serpent.
What if it really was as simple as a shift in perception to turn a ‘ scarenerio’ into a sunlit, successful scenario in which happiness was our norm?
http://youtu.be/sNqywS4TPw0 May I Suggest-sung by Red Molly
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdPh4MpxwJo and the original by Susan Werner