Issue No. 23: February 2013
Nearly two months have passed since the most recent apocalyptic fever gripped our culture…I’m so grateful we had a triumph of vibrant life over the clamor of the doomsday preppers. Admit it, even though you “knew” it wasn’t going to happen, wasn’t all the buzz on the end of the world a bit unsettling?
Sadly, our culture still feeds on fear frenzies, and the media loves to whip it up to raise anxiety, and perhaps viewer participation? So we keep re-traumatizing ourselves with worst case scenarios and endgame nightmares. It always amazes me that people pay money to suffer in movie theaters to watch disaster films, inviting a cortisol crash of stress hormones and adrenal exhaustion. Yes, thinking “What if, what if, what if…” cranks up the cortisol good and hard.
Fact: every thought becomes a chemical reaction in our bodies1…so what thoughts do we allow in? (I’m always reminding clients NOT to watch the news right before bedtime, for it will seriously impair your sleep. Best to watch a comedy, read uplifting texts or listen to soothing music, at least one hour before bedtime to have an improved night’s sleep.)
To get relief from your normal worrying menu — about family, friends, love life, work, clutter, downsizing — you can always focus on being hit by Asteroid 2002 NT7, which is 1.2 miles wide, that might collide with Earth on 2/1/2019. Or how about the solar flares that will disrupt the grid and cause massive chaos, or a complete economic breakdown of our country, or biological warfare? Truly, there is always something to worry about. It never ends.
Wouldn’t it be a powerful switch if we could consistently take our fears and just turn them into a relaxed faith that “all is well” or that “everything is working out for the best?” “Acting as if,” or the “fake it until you make it” strategies used to annoy me, but I have come to understand the value of piggy back riding on other’s faith if your own is weak in the moment. My faith seems to fluctuate, from low tide to high tide. I wish it was constant and steady, but that is not my experience. Some days I need to be reminded that “This too shall pass,” and to “Let go and let God,” for it is not up to me to make all things run well.
People of consistent faith definitely have the advantage, to always be able to turn to a Power greater than themselves for comfort, wisdom, guidance and strength and never have a doubt. As a student of comparative religion for over 30 years, that possibility of rock solid consistent faith still amazes me.
My Grandma Jean, may she rest in peace, a fervent believer in Divine Providence, would often alarm me when she heard some bad news about someone and would say, “This too is for the good!” Even if a friend lost a job, was rear-ended on the highway, or got burned in a fire, Grandma Jean would say, “It’s all for the good.” She would not worry.
As I child, I never understood what she was talking about, until I began to learn about the influence of positive belief and how it can transform any negative experience through its powerful filtering process.
Grandma Jean had a deep, abiding faith in the goodness of the Universe — she absolutely believed that everything that happens TO us is happening FOR us. She was also joined in her belief by Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, two astute scientists for whom the goodness or orderliness of the Universe was expressed in scientific laws.
When that belief is embraced, there are no more adversarial experiences, no one is against us, everything and everyone is for us, each person is a gift, or an opportunity for growth on some level. There is no punishment, no reward, just learning.
“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm, ” said an anonymous observer. This is one of my life’s goals — to laugh and stay calm would be even better, as the evidence for laughter contributing to robust health has been well noted.2
How can we take each troubling situation and find the silver lining in it today? How can we turn our worry into WONDER? To be in awe of the complexity and beauty of life, and admit our cluelessness to the laws of the Universe, rather than try to figure it all out… what a concept.
For me, it’s a God job, but there are many who find serenity in alternative ways. I have come to respect all the paths up the Mountain, they’re all good.
Yes, it’s a challenge to be living on a very high level of consciousness, turning fear into faith all the time. I have not mastered this yet. But I know that the rewards are more joy, fun, laughter and inner peace as a result. I have had glimpses of that peace, moments of transcendence, nuances of the Oneness experience, so I know this is real.
I have also met a few people who seem to have mastered this ability. I want to be in that experience, too, 24/7/365…I pray it’s going to happen one day, slowly, slowly, that my quest for bliss would not be in vain.
Challenge: How will you turn your fear into faith today?
I hope you take that challenge, however you do it, as you hasten slowly towards a more beautiful life. You will know a new freedom and happiness because of this shift…so simple in words, but not easy to practice.