What Are You Afraid Of?
In May, I was leading a meditative walk through Winding Trails with our Camino group and was surprised to learn later on that I had led the group right past a large snake sunbathing near the pond. Then, this week, I was with my husband and unknowingly brushed aside a mouse who had come close to me when I was sitting. In both of those situations, had I actually seen the creature, I would have been startled and likely yelped, as evidenced this weekend when I had a spider on my leg. All of those animals were harmless. These three events have been a beacon to me that I need to explore the idea of fear.
In today's world, it seems like many of us are automatically tuned into our fight or flight fear response. Media and politicians, among others, profit and are given power by making sure that we as a culture feel afraid, so much of what flows into many people's minds creates this sense of constant vigilance and fear. This has, in turn, grown into a deepening of fear in all realms of life. Of course, there are things that might harm us, and we will have injuries and setbacks, but it's like all of this energy is on overdrive. Is it safe to eat this? Is it safe to fly - to drive - to swim - to sit on the couch?
I myself have not been immune to picking up this thread of fear energy, so I often use the above quote to move me through a harmless situation which has brought irrational fear. The below picture of a highland cow on Iona reminds me of such a day - when a few of us hiked a hill in extremely high winds. At one point on the trail, I felt that I was absolutely going to blow off the side of the hill. Encouraged by my companions, and the above quote, I successfully crawled to the top of the hill. The euphoria at the top was amazing!
We are meant to enjoy life, and fear is just one element that might block your flow of light and joy.
You might invite yourself to notice today when you are feeling fear or anxiety and ask yourself if it is really a valid fear or if you can move past it into a brighter day.
Copyright Nancy C Murray 2018