Fear often disguises itself as anger. Anger often expresses itself as violence. Cut the root, and the flower dies.
People, (frankly, especially men) can be in serious denial about how frightened they are. “I’m not scared! This is righteous anger!” Yes. You are concerned with something bad happening to someone else. With whom you empathize. Ahem.
Or, you have the very rational “if it can happen to them, it can happen to me” sense, and treat them like the canary in the coal mine. Deal with it OVER THERE, before it gets OVER HERE. Makes perfect sense. But you don’t invest energy unless that “something” that might come over here is something you would fear to happen to yourself, or those you empathize with. Ahem.
But often, people just cannot follow the chain down to the basics, no matter how hard they try. Just in the last 24 hours, I’ve dealt with people expressing the following emotions/concepts/states that are all fear based:
Lack of empathy for political opponents
Deleting negative behaviors by “our” side, over-emphasizing negatives on “their” side
And on and on. I cannot make a specific analysis of every possible situation, but all this stuff goes to the same root, and if you cannot create the chain that exposes it. It can be ugly stuff.
What to do? Go the other way. Attack the fear directly, even if you cannot see it, even if you cannot see the ways that seed has sprouted. Just do this, and the “evidences” and “manifestations” and “masks” of fear will diminish and dissolve.
The antidotes for fear are emotions like love, gratitude, and faith. Perhaps gratitude and faith even more than love, since you can be afraid for those you love. We are smart enough as a culture to take one week, or at least one day, to stop and consider all we have to be Thankful for.
- Take every opportunity you can to luxuriate in this. To connect with people you love. Get hugs and kisses. Call old friends just to tell them you love them. Gather with friends and family.
- And if you don’t have such people? Take your attention off yourself, and give to others. Volunteer at a local shelter, helping to distribute meals. Buy a stranger’s latte at Starbucks. Look for someone who is in emotional distress on FB and offer to Skype with them.
- Spend some time to actually make a list of the things you would miss if you lost them. Sight? Taste? Hearing? Do you have these things now? Then isn’t it silly not to be grateful for them WHILE YOU HAVE THEM?
- Perform your Morning Ritual. Go for a walk in the morning air. Focus on something you’d miss if you lost them…your legs. Being able to breathe, think, celebrate another day of life. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE TO BE GRATEFUL FOR. And if you can’t think of anything, know that you are lying to yourself, that you have created standards designed to keep you unhappy.
- Google search terms like “gratitude” and “how can I be grateful?” and find the articles that address this very serious question. Here’s a link to get you started, on beating depression in the holidays: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544
And for my writers–WRITE. Write these emotions out, so that you will have access to them later, when you write about a character with those feelings. Or…actually remember a time you were depressed in the past, and fought your way out. What did you do? Can you write about a character who moves from depression to joy? If you can, you are giving a gift to the world.
Our “Revolutionary Writing” class is only open until the 3rd of December, and then won’t be open again until February while we concentrate on helping our current students. You can sign up for a month for only $1, and if you do that in the next ten days:
- You’ll be able to download a free copy of the Ancient Child program
- Download a free copy of the Morning Ritual
- Have access to the entire Revolutionary Writing Program and attend the last webinar session
- Have a chance to have one of your stories “Hot seat” evaluated in December.
- Join our blog, and get more personal attention. Join a community of storytellers committed to changing the world, and speaking their truth.
- And more.
All for a dollar. And then, if you don’t like it, just cancel. You can help us understand what we need to add to support and nurture you. The holidays can be ghastly for sensitive people. If you go to www.createthenarrative.com and the idea of sharing your dreams with the world to create a stronger, healthier society appeals to you, give it a try!