We know – because of this amazing course – that the statement regarding fear is loaded with falsehoods, and the statement on the right is filled to overflowing with the truth.
But how is it then that we seem to live our lives within the strict confines of fear. For if we are not controlled by our fears we are most certainly guided by them And, ultimately it is our perception of the world .. the people, places, events and experiences whose truths define us that make our lives what they are…. right?
When we have seen those events, experienced those physical pains – truly and completely been both figuratively and literally IN THOSE MOMENTS where we have been defined by what occurred.
This week we were challenged to consider how we could turn Fear, Guilt, Ander, Unworthiness and Hurt Feelings into –tools– that can help us expand our comfort zone and build a life not only of our dreams – but one worth living while we do so.
So… I am going to push myself and see if I can get a handle on these things – this week:
Seeing the invisible – Fear:
Fear can be of two basic types => Uncertainty and Panic. I suspect that BOTH can be used as tools by the Dispassionate Observer:
Panic is a fantastic gauge of, when expanding comfort zones, that you may have gone too far and essentially lost control. Like a race car driver breaking loose in a corner at high-speed we have gone well beyond our experience we have nothing to guide us.
Looking inward and ‘backward’ to a point where you felt panic you could learn to sense similar thoughts and sensations building in the present – and thus be aware of when you might be pushing too hard.
Uncertainty is an even better gauge of our success in expanding our comfort zones. Again, as we learn to drive a car, at first we startle ourselves and those around us because we are taking small – yet completely new – steps into a new life. As we brake more regularly, corner more often – even slide on the ice more frequently… we gain confidence and strength.
We have expanded our comfort zone – and increased the quality of our lives. And become comfortable with those things that were uncertain, uncomfortable and new…
Looking inward and backward on our lives – we SHOULD see many more instances of uncertainty than panic – as we are still alive and have thus, obviously, improved ourselves and expanded our comfort zones since day one.
Nothing within your comfort zone can be “uncertain”…
And, one final gauge I suppose…and just as good a tool = observation of a LACK of either of these in our lives. This should scare the — out of us.
Without some level of fear in our lives we should see zero growth, zero excitement, and perhaps understand this as the “quiet desperation” so many suffer. And, perhaps this is the tool that gets your butt moving at first?
Given that, our tools are much like the “compass”, guides in our striving to expand our comfort zones. And they can only be made use of by OBSERVATION of ourselves and our thoughts.
Once we start performing small actions that introduce some uncertainty we should see less “quiet desperation”. As we gain awareness of this, we find the ability to direct the growth of our lives through the USE of fear – by actively looking for those things which cause us fear… evaluating them and, should they prove to be obstacles in the way of advancing our Dharma, intentionally taking steps to engage those fears and develop the habits, thoughts, and character to get beyond them.
As we accelerate our lives and grow our dreams we should observe (and tolerate) greater levels of uncertainty – with which, like the race-car driver, we become more comfortable as we persist.
Panic is our gauge, like the perception of being “inout of control” in the high-speed race of a well lived life, that tells us we need to balance, slow down and study – before getting back in and pushing the boundaries again.
And perhaps even that can become a tool as we make of life the Game that it truly can be – cranking up the excitement on occasion by catching the edge of panic in our pursuit of excellence.
And – since the fine line between Fear and Excitement is merely the perception we choose to accept… let’s go have a heck of a lot of both!