Fear As A Path To Love
We’ve all had the experience of being terrified to do something for the first time, but then once we tried it, we loved it. I was scared stiff to go on the radio the first time when I was in high school, but when that red “on air” light went on, and I launched into reading the news on the local AM radio, I found new dimensions to this new broadcasting thing I never knew were there, and it was wonderful. I couldn’t wait to get back to the microphone.
When I was a young professional drummer, my band was performing at a big festival in front of an audience of 20,000, or so. Sure we were nervous waiting for the MC to introduce us, but once we were into our set, the anxiety evaporated and we did great.
After the set the festival organizer came up to me and said, “Hey, one of the acts lost their drummer, so they need someone right away to sit in.” I felt that sinking feeling in my gut, and started to freeze up. I’d never hit a big gig cold like that before, and almost said no. But my confidence level was soaring from the great set my band had, so I said, “Sure”. Gulp. I didn’t know anything about these other guys, had no idea what songs they played, nothing, but in about 30 minutes I was on stage with them. The guitar player said, “OK, let’s start with a shuffle.” He counted us in, and I was in the groove, having the time of my life.
In these cases, I stepped through my fear of the unknown in order to do something I loved, despite my mind running countless scenarios of failure and humiliation. I believe the mind does this because it’s job is to protect us from dangers, either physical or emotional, and if we caved in to these dire projections every time we were about to do something new, we’d never get to do what we loved.
I used to do sales, and the first thing you learn is that enthusiasm and love sells. I’d always find something I loved about what I was selling, and then went from there, and usually found success.
Fear stops and freezes. Love flows and warms. Both states are necessary to maintain a physical reality, but when the mind stops and freezes, our body follows, and before we know it, we’re cowering behind the nearest shelter with eyes wide shut dreading the next moment. Only by shifting our focus to the warm flow of love, does the mind stop its furious danger scenarios, and begin to solve problems.
It is this “freezing of attention” that fear does to the mind, that makes it irresistible to the super-competitive click-bait crazy mass media and the political interests behind it. The more fearful the events reported, along with exaggerated contexts, the more people will tune in to have their attention frozen on the latest terrifying scenarios. Great lengths are taken to cherry-pick the most fearful and dire aspects of an event to maintain this frozen attention state. Prolonged exposure to this type of mind control, is not only harmful health-wise, it is also destructive to logical thought and overall happiness and well-being.
Sure, we all want to be informed of what’s going on in the wider world, but to allow the freezing of our emotions and intellect serves little purpose, and erodes self-love, respect and honor.
I believe we are all better than that. Let’s instead set our sights on doing what we love, being a loving, compassionate person; and staying true to the highest and best in ourselves and others. In this way, we can retain and protect our sanity, and bring about a better life for ourselves and our communities.
Love enhances and revitalizes life, and can dissolve the frozen effects of fear. Speak love to fear and watch it cower in the shadows. By living life fearlessly, the world becomes a loving, exciting and fascinating place. Love is contagious and self-generating, requiring a fraction of the energy that fear demands of us.
So, stop the doom scrolling through social media; turn off the TV news; take a walk, breathe the air, hug a tree and feel the love in the world. It’s there, and the more you see it, the more of it there is for everyone.
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