Tuesday, April 1, 2014


We have good memories and bad memories.   We often get stuck in the
negative memories and forget about the positive ones that have helped
us face life with courage, wisdom and joy.   It is like staring at a
dark tunnel - we get scared thinking that we are in this long tunnel
and wonder if there is a way out - when all we have to do is look
ahead and see the light that is shining through that is leading the
way.   Fear works that way - it takes over you in a paralyzing way not
allowing you to look beyond the surface.   Think of fear - when was
the first time you remembered your first fearful emotion? How old were
you?   My first vivid memory of feeling fearful was when I was five
and then when I was seven.  I may not have called it fear, but I knew
what it felt like and I knew I was frightened.

Think of what is keeping you in fear today- what are some memories
that keep coming back?  What if you looked at those memories and take
a moment to see if any lessons came out of that.  Are you a more
courageous person today as a result? Are you more communicative? Are
you more disciplined? Are you more loving?  Or are you more
distrustful? Are you more resentful? Or do you take things in your
stride?  Did that experience make you for the worse or did it teach
you something about yourself that is making you a better person.  If
you feel you are a better person - than today, give honor to those
events in life or those individuals who came into your life as
"mentors," as "teachers."  Giving honor, respecting those teachers
gives voice to a value/skill you have learned.  It also teaches you to
let go to embrace the future.   If you feel you still need to let go,
then perhaps this piece will lend some insight into small steps to
doing that.

The memories are strong - they keep us sometimes stuck in our growth
process, and prevent us from moving forward.  What if we learn to turn
to view those memories as mentors - or teachers to help us release
those fears?  Our fears hold us back from facing many events in life.
They hold us back from taking risks, trying something new, allowing
ourselves to fully enjoy the relationships we are in, and last but not
least in becoming our highest self.  Our fears can keep us stagnant
for a long time. I heard a meditation this morning on Fearlessness -
by Arianna Huffington - and she said  "Memories from the past serve us
and others do not.  Let us learn to release negative emotions we may
have been holding onto and remember the positive ones that made us
feel strong and valued."

No one is free of fear - it comes to us at different points in our
lives.  Yet we can face our fears fully when we acknowledge where our
fears come from and what we have learned from that fear.   It is truly
a liberating feeling when you can look at fear in its face and say to
it " hey, I know you are here, but  I am glad that this time, I won't
run away from you, but will face you."  If I had to sum up how facing
my fears have helped me face life it would be in various stages -
facing death of a loved one/ones - more in the context that yes it was
painful for me to face death - but the people that I lost were amazing
individuals that taught me how to live and gratitude beyond words for
having been so close to them.  So I channeled that fear of death to
honor their lives and what it meant to me.   Another fear is change -
change comes in different forms - life changes, job changes, status
changes - sometimes we are unprepared for them and they hit you in the
face- when that happens our fears start to rise and most often we will
freeze.  But knowing that we have overcome major changes in our lives
gives us confidence. So when a new change  arises,  instead of
allowing ourselves to succumb to the fear - remember the last change
in your life and how you faced that - honor it - and write down what
it is that you learned and accomplished.  Doing that teaches us to
move forward with trust, love, and hope.

So as an avid journal writer how do we put this into practice - Honor
your mentors - send them a letter, a card, acknowledging their
presence in your life.

Write down your first memories of fear - how old were you - how did
you overcome it? What did you achieve? - Look at a child who is afraid
of the dark -their parent works with them by teaching them tools about
overcoming their fear - see their faces when they are no longer afraid
- grinning, feeling a sense of pride - so we too  must acknowledge our
strengths and accomplishments.

When you are faced with a situation where you know you are reacting to
fear - begin to keep a log of your behaviors, eating habits, your
sleep patterns - do it for a week - see if there are any patterns that
keep emerging.  Think about the way in which fear is overcoming you -
write a letter to your fear.  I ask you to think about doing that and
you will see what comes up.   Then make a commitment with yourself to
face it or it will consume you.

Happy Journaling!

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