Day 8: The Mother of All Fears
“Ye were created to show love one to another and not perversity and rancour. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in love for all mankind.” Baha’u’llah
Sometimes good ideas like having 19 consecutive days of doing this transformation plan run into obstacles that slow things down. Friday I had an all day huge elementary school track meet to organize and run and then today I was at a tennis tournament for my high school team.
Sooner or later the reason most of us abandon our plans comes down to fear. Since we are a social species and count on our survival by being part of a group, the mother of all our fears is some form of exclusion. Today as I was watching my tennis team perform and interacting with them, nearly all of the players were nervous. They worried about the results and were fearful of being eliminated. If we all just had the quality of playfulness and could stop the thinking so much about the results, we would probably perform at a much higher rate.
When we think about exclusion, our minds go out into the future and imagine how it is we might get eliminated in one form or another. There are an infinite number of ways to be excluded. Then we experience some kind of tensing which causes hesitation, resistance, stopping, freezing, paralyzing, or any of a number of other coping strategies. As soon as the tensing happens our performance suffers. The interesting thing about the mind is that it cannot go off into imagination land with a fear unless we have already had experiences of exclusion. First you experience the abandoning feelings, then it goes into memory. When you set about doing something that requires full attention in the present, your mind immediately goes to imagining abandonment. If you can let go of the memory and imagination and tension, then getting to where you want to do is relative easy because you have no resistance inside.
We all come from a world culture that is largely based upon systemic and institutionalized exclusion. No one escapes it. We have memory banks full of abandonment. Everyone on the planet has the fear. It is why the most important issue of our era is unity. The first place to go when you are starting to look inside to see the things that are holding you back is how you have been left out or pushed out in one way or another.
For instance, if you are a member of race who has been excluded in the culture, you will have a lot of negative memories about it, and the memories are going to get triggered. You cannot escape the triggers. The key to achieving success with yourself and getting to the transformation you want is to not let the exclusion take over your mind and cripple you, nor should you take violent steps toward those who have done the excluding. When fear takes over the mind, we cannot achieve the success we are after.
We achieve success by recognizing the triggers, understanding the source, and then letting them go. It is important to feel them and acknowledge them because without the consciousness, they just act independently for survival sake in an unconscious manner. What is needed is the new energy because spiritual qualities like patience, joy, love, honesty, and courage always create a more united world when they are practiced correctly.
The exercise today is to understand the source of your exclusion by answering the following questions.
What is the virtue you are after and how does it create unity in the world?
How have you been excluded and how does it make you cope for protection sake?
Let go of imagining that you need protection. Let go of the memory and tension. Make a plan for using the energy of the virtue.
As with previous posts it is important to recognize that some fears are too huge to let go of alone, usually when there is some form of abuse attached to them. Seek help. It is fun to change.