Urban Pagan in Somerset

Urban Pagan in Somerset

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Feel the Fear?

I have realised I am going through some changes recently and its giving me a lot to think about. With all the negativity around us at the moment with cuts to public spending, cuts to the services needed by so many vulnerable people. The attacks on the poorer parts of our society and the gap between the rich and poor ever widening, it is easy to become cynical and worried about people, life and humanity.

Closer to home I can worry about my children. My older children's relationships, and my youngest childs' future.

I don't wish to become blinkered either. To pretend that everything is wonderful when there is so much hardship around is quite insulting to those who are suffering. And then there is the wider aspect. So many people in other countries starving, having their freedoms removed, being killed for daring to follow other spiritual paths or being controlled by their gender and religions.

But for a time I realised I had lost my optimism. My hope. My trust in something greater than what is so prevalent at the moment. Not necessarily something greater than humanity - I'm not talking  about God or Higher consciousness here. I'm talking about something buried deep in people. Something that isn't always obvious especially when you come up against a person who seems to be determined to make others suffer.

I'm thinking about that spark that sometimes I see when I read an article in a magazine or paper. Or see a video or news item that is celebrating an idea or human achievement. Or when I'm speaking to friends that are starting new paths or just happy with the one they are on. Or even just like today when I looked at a picture of someone in a facebook status who has started a therapy centre after many years of study in areas that are patently obviously meant to benefit people and help them find their inner joy and peace.

Its so easy to get bogged down in the sadness's around us. And I do realise that its necessary to be able to experience both sadness and happiness. Such is life.

But sometimes I find I have allowed myself to swim in the waters of worry and despair for too long. I start to find I am getting physical reactions. My gall stones flare up, my immune system begins to allow for bugs and illness. My digestive system goes haywire. My mind begins to allow itself to fear the future, my kids future. It can even cause a kind of paralysis. A fear of moving or doing something different in case it goes wrong.

But I cannot live this way. Fear is sly, it creeps in the door and whispers worries and concerns until I can stop trusting myself. I read a book many years ago called Feel the fear and do it anyway. I hold to that statement although I also realise that doesn't mean go off and do something stupid. Some 'fears' are useful as they give you a pause for thought before doing something too rash.

I'm talking about the fears that stop you from making changes in your life because it takes you out of your comfort zone. Leaving a job you hate to work for yourself even though your wages are cut. Moving from an area you grew up in to travel and find adventures even though you don't know anyone where you are going to or family dont approve. Starting a new path on a spiritual pathway that is different to the one you have been brought up in or your family considers to be the only authentic way.

So many things can halt people in their tracks and sometimes stop them from going any further. Of course you may not succeed in what your original plan was. I was going to say of course you might fail. But I don't think any experience is a failure. Its something to learn from. Its an experience. Its not always going to fit your idea of how its meant to be, but its still movement. Its still valuable.

Fear can keep you immobile. Stuck. Afraid of change.

Sometimes I know I have let fear stop me doing the things I planned. Dreams I had were wasted - not because they weren't achieved, but because I didn't allow myself to try. If I had changed my dreams that would have been ok. But some dreams I opted out of, because I was afraid. Because I took the easy road. I also try not to live with regrets. I try to remember that I am the person that has evolved from those experiences. Theres a fine balance here and sometimes I can walk it, and other times I fall on one side or the other.

I enjoyed a film a while ago called the Yes Man. Based on a book where it is advocated that we dont say yes enough to life and need to say yes more. The film was a comedy that had the main character saying yes to absolutely everything which caused a lot of chaos. But it also gave him experiences and relationships that he would have missed by saying no. It also came with a message that balance was important in this, but also, to take a chance was a good thing too.

Today I was wandering around facebook. I like to read the status' of my friends. What they are up to. Projects and ideas. And I realised I was reading an awful lot of the shared news articles about the terrible things going on in life and around us. Its a bit like rubbernecking on the internet.
I don't enjoy knowing these things are going on but there is something that draws us to reading bad news. Is it the idea that we are sharing the bad times as well as the good? Maybe we feel better knowing other people are having as bad a time as we are!

As I realised I was bringing up the shared articles that highlighted the negative side of humanity to look at I also saw one of the status that says someone has a new 'friend'. I'm always interested in reading about new people and assume that any of my friends who have made a new friend, that they will have interests and ideas similar to mine and my friends.

So I clicked on their page to read about them. It was a nice colourful page. Nice looking person with some interesting things she has done. The point about her therapeutic centre being opened was interesting as well as her background and training. But there was something else.
She beamed. Now I don't know if she is having hard times with her family, work or relationships. I don't know and I am making all kinds of assumptions.

But she beamed. She had a light about her and something that reminded me that actually Ive got that somewhere inside. I just lost it for a bit. What have I done with it? Where did I put it away? I want it back!

In a fragment of time, I realised what I have allowed my negative self to do for sometime. I have wallowed and swum for too long in this well of despair and fear. I want my authentic self back. I want to believe that in the end, or even sooner, that all things will be ok.

"All shall be well and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well".

(Julian of Norwich)

Now I just have to climb out of this well!

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