When I was little, just before bed-time, I used to have to jump from the woven carpet on the floor onto the bed without touching the gap in between in order to be safe from that which was lurking under my bed. And, being quite small, that was a big gap to to jump across. It never occurred to me to move the carpet closer to the bed to make that jump easier. And I knew that if I made it, I’d be safe all night. A little OCD I know, but aren’t we all a bit like that when we’re small?
Now, that small gap that I used to have to have run up to in order to jump over, seems incredibly small and insignificant in comparison to the fears (aka monsters) that I face today. Nonetheless that monster under the bed was as real and frightening and threatening as some of the fears I have today. I don’t actually remember when I got over tht irrational fear that was fed but an incredibly active imagination, but the point really is that the fear no longer exists.
So how do I deal with fears today?
Do I still do a run-up to jump over them?
Well, the run-and-jump strategy wasn’t really effective in eradicating the monster under the bed. It just kept the two of us separate. I was, in effect giving the monster life by jumping rather than letting the idea go by facing him. By crawling under the bed and saying hello. For all I knew the monster could have been perfectly friendly!
So now I say hello to them. Shyly, timidly I reach out and face them.
The fears of today are no different than the fears we created in childhood. In fact today, as adults, we buy into and believe the fears even more than we did as children. But it’s real we say! It exists! But the fact is that we created the monsters in our minds, fed them with our imaginations and let them grow into something that we now experience as reality.
Facing your fears by recognising them and letting them go, letting the idea of “what if” go, opens life up to a much broader range of possibilities because you are not focusing on what you DO NOT WANT. All of a sudden we release that control, that iron grip over life and allow it to bring to us the very best in whatever form is best suited in that moment.
So next time another monster raises it’s pretty (or perhaps ugly) little head, look at it, smile and ask say, so what do you want? You may be quivering in your boots when you do this. And you might just realise that it wasn’t so scary after all.
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