5-28-23 Fear and Anxiety

Fear and Anxiety 

Basically there are two types of fear. One is a natural fear of danger, flight, fight or freeze.      The second is psychological fear which is unnatural. Psychological fear is ego-driven. Made up in our minds. As the fear voice in the head gets going, it’s prone to make a story out of an event, develop an attitude and opinion about it, and relive it in countless ways. It will then discolor our perceptions and make us try to manipulate, ignore or run away from our lives, and the truth.

Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety is a smolder, fear is a fire.

The main cause of anxiety is not trusting ourselves. If we trust in our inate curiosity, wisdom and intelligence there is no problem or anxiety. We CREATE anxiety in a number of ways. As we go about our daily lives we may feel anxious about an upcoming event or the unknown quality of the future. We may be distressed that something is taking longer than we like or not going the way we want it to. We often have a constant dialogue going on in our heads. We are so use to our distracted thinking we may not even know it is there, but we let it create anxiety and fear. We are addicted to thinking and distractions. We create a scene about something that “may” happen and have a dialogue with others in our heads about what will happen. All just made up and anxiety causing. Anxiety puts a cloud over us so we can’t see clearly or fully engage in any task. We forget that we are full, complete and worthy people and we doubt ourselves. Anxiety is a slow poison that weakens us. When we have done what we can, we need to let it go, not continue letting doubt and anxiety roll around distracting us from being present and NOW. Know when you are creating situations in your head, release that thinking and come back to a fully present BEING and curiosity. Always try acting from the heart, be wrong sometimes, learn, and continue
believing in yourself.

We may feel anxious with almost any task we do, as in needing to hurry up to get to the next thing so we can hurry up to….. We need to SLOW DOWN and be aware of what we are feeling and doing. We need to start small with ordinary chores or duties. Begin being fully present for eating a meal without distractions. Taste the food, feel the fork, chew slowly with an appreciation of the food. When you are walking to another room be present for walking. When picking something up feel the texture, the movement.When we are truly present with any task or situation there is nothing wrong or wanting. But if we are unpracticed with small tasks we cannot bring our full attention to anything larger and more important in life. It is important to begin addressing our constant thinking distraction that cultivates anxiety. This sets the stage for further anxiety and fear to arise.

Anytime you feel yourself getting “tight” while doing something, stop for a few seconds, breathe 3 times and relax. Re-enter your task with an appreciation and full attention for what you are doing, with a sense of calm and openness. Try this many times a day.
Do you practice being present and calm, or do you practice being anxious.

In my addiction, I was afraid of many things. I was afraid my addiction would be found out. I was afraid I would not have enough of my “stuff.” I was afraid of other people, and not sure of how to relate to anyone else in a healthy way. As my addiction progressed, I became more and more fearful and withdrawn. I kept trying to hide and avoid my fears with a substance or behavior that would numb me. If fear is our foundation, it forces us to be afraid and react in negative and harmful ways, and to look for solace in temporary diversions, addictions, entertainments or resentments. We can be just as addicted to a negative state of mind, as to any drug

“I seemed to find hope in AA that I could recover from alcoholism. What I really found, through others who went before me and shared their experience with me, was the recognition of the capacity within myself, to honestly face who I am, how the world is, and to choose to live more honestly, more fearlessly, with a kind and gentle heart. This takes effort and resolve. With practice I begin to relax into the flow of life, while still being able to deal with all the ups and downs.” Paraphrase – Big Book of AA 

Emotions are something I am experiencing, they are not who I am. I am experiencing fear, I am not the fear itself. If I embrace fear as who I am, that is what I will be. Instead of fighting fear or giving in to it, I face, I embrace it and accept it—I develop loving-kindness as a direct antidote to fear. When I feel a fear arising, I learn to step OUT of the fear and take a look at it with a caring and gentle mind. I then choose how to act and feel. I can feel comfortable with myself and the
unknown if I choose to. I will then make better decisions and feel the richness of life itself.

Most people who start practicing mindfulness meditation realize for the first time  how much of their behavior is motivated by anxiety and fear. If this happens to you, you may begin to feel discouraged or possibly defensive, or to adamantly assert that your fear is justified and even needed. You are so used to fear, so these responses are natural. It is as though you are afraid to be without fear! How do you advance fearlessly and without hesitation? Being alert and curious about your fear allows it to become your teacher as well as to serve your growth and lets you choose.

Fear and anxiety are messages we need to pay attention to. They can inform us that there is a dangerous situation, or more likely that we are indulging in a negativity that we can step out of and embolden our confidence and sense of well-being. Yes – believe in yourself. Try it on and see how it feels. Fearlessness is empowered by fear. You can’t develop fearlessness—real compassionate, — without fear. Fearlessness is born of fear, that is overcome.

Meditation will help with being more present, not caught up in the past or the future. We sit with our heads swirling around and we have the patience and courage to simply accept our thoughts and continually let go of them. To just be with whatever is occurring, and let any anxiety fade away. We mindfully, gently yet firmly, bring our awareness back to our breath. We are practicing choosing, where we are placing our minds. We may feel the stability, clarity and strength, that is naturally there, not fear. We have been covering up our gentleness and happiness, with our fears and our story lines, that are all about ME. Open up, relax. Kind of like growing up.                                                                                                                                                     
Life awaits. You are WORTHY, believe in yourself, even though you are afraid to.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.

Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com