Which wolf in your head wins the fight? The one you feed.
If you feed the fear wolf, then the fear wolf wins.
Fear seems so real, so valid. It wears very distracting clothing – hard to ignore. Flashy. Compelling. It’s hard not to feed this animal.
There are times when it saves our bacon, fear. A small percentage of the time. Like when a bus is coming at us.
Most of our fear is neurotic – a product of the ego mind. It’s an insecure tyrant we’ve put in power. This needs to be turned around. The mind needs to be utilized as a servant, not a master.
Most people feed their fears by giving them a lot of time and attention, a lot of energy. This makes the fears grow, expand, and dominate the mind. And what dominates our mind dictates our behavior.
Thus goes the way of the world. We are controlled by our fears, but we are the ones who fed them and made them grow.
How do we stop this cycle?
We need to learn to train our mind. It is all about mindfulness. Slowing down and observing what is going on inside of us so we can make a conscious choice, rather than just react.
When we feel fear, it is information. Thank it for sharing, then put it back in its crate, and look at the information dispassionately, with clear mind and heart – with wisdom. With intuition. Then let your higher self decide what to do about it.
The hardest, most important and life-changing action for humans to learn how to do is to stop short of a basic, reptilian reaction to a situation and engage our higher mind and our heart.
The reptilian reaction is to kill, eat, or reproduce. Basic survival. No higher mind. No heart. No consciousness.
It works fine for reptiles.
It gets us humans in a lot of trouble – and pain – when we rely on the reptilian brain. We are more than that, and we suffer when we don’t engage the more that we are – consciousness wanting to be expressed and lived.
Consciousness is a big word, and a bigger concept. But to become more conscious is not complicated. It requires slowing down and utilizing a basic tool.
Mindfulness, consciousness, awareness – it’s all about paying attention. It’s a tall order for us distracted humans, but it’s the only game in town that reliably leads to more happiness, peace, love and joy.
Before you react to fearful thoughts and impulses, stop for a second and identify the thought and the impulse as fear. Stopping in your tracks to name the thing for what it is – fear – stops the beast’s salivating lunges at you, for a moment. That moment holds the potential of the world in it.
It’s like in anger management when they give you a rubber band to wear on your wrist to snap the moment you feel the hot pulse of pre-rage gurgling under the surface. Or the counting to 10 before you say or do anything once you identify the anger ignition.
Practice catching the moment you hear/see/smell/feel/taste a fear-based thought/sensation/impulse. In that moment just press pause and name your experience – fear. You can picture a little green dragon trying to breathe a tiny match stick flame at you, and you point down to it and say, “You are Fear.”
In that instant, you gain perspective. You raise your consciousness.
There’s more to the story, more tools to use after this precious moment, but if you get some practice with just this, you are most definitely more than half the way there.
Don’t feed the fears. They are never satiated. But you can’t murder them either. Throw the little Green Dude a crumb, a stale one, thank it for sharing and send it back to its crate.
We must domesticate our fears. Train them. Shrink them. Show them who’s boss. This is the way of peace. Starting with inner peace.