Connecting Space

Connecting Space

Thought for the day

Thought for the day

 

 

Fear is not something to be conquered or eliminated. Instead, we may need to pay close attention to its message.

Most of us experience fear as a kind of stop sign or flashing red light that warns: “Danger! Do not enter!” But we may need to decode that signal and consider what it’s trying to convey.

What is the actual nature of the danger? Is it past or present, real or imagined? Are we feeling anxious because we are boldly charting new territory, or because we’re about to do something stupid?

Sometimes, we feel a stab of fear or a wave of anxiety because our unconscious is warning us that we’re truly off track.

 

There are times when we need to push past our dread and resolve—with our heart pounding in our chest—to act.

At still other times, we may need to identify the actual sources of fear—past or present—that may be obscured from our view. For example, the anxiety that washes over you when you contemplate confronting your spouse may mask an underlying, ancient terror of speaking up to your father when you were a child.

There is one final kind of fear we need to decode—the fear we don’t feel at all (at least, not consciously). When we can’t fully face our anxiety and clarify it’s sources, we tend to act it out instead—attacking a colleague, nagging our child for the 12th time, or working all weekend on a project that was good enough on Friday afternoon—all the while convincing ourselves that these responses are totally rational and warranted.

When anxiety is chronically high it leads to more serious outcomes such as greed, bigotry, scapegoating, violence, and other forms of cruelty. In these anxious times, on both the personal and political fronts, ideas are embraced and decisions are made not on the basis of clear thinking that considers both history and the future, but rather on the basis of hearts filled with fear.

We owe it to ourselves and others to manage our anxiety and fear as well as possible.

Author: Jill • Filed under: Health Matters • Posted: September 16, 2015 1:32 pm

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