FEAR

F.E.A.R.

Fear stops many of us from living life to the fullest. Much of the trepidation around changes of any kind in our lives stems from a foundation of fear. We often deal with situations in our lives, yet we worry about the outcome.

Ernest Holmes wrote that the word “fear” is an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” One of the ways we can see how this shows up is when we are faced with the challenge of telling someone something we are confident is going to upset them. Whether it is the process of getting up the courage to let a friend know we have failed to follow through, or telling our mother we broke her favorite vase, our mind chatter can create numerous scenarios of the outcome – none of which are in our favor.

Once we follow through with approaching the situation with the other person, however, we may find the response quite different. Over the Christmas holidays I accidently knocked into a cabinet in the kitchen causing a ceramic cup to go crashing to the floor. I assumed it was a family heirloom – other things on the shelves were – and spent the good part of the day fretting because I thought I had to inform my partner when he got home from work that I had shattered a precious possession of his departed mother.

Imagine my shock when he laughed and told me the cup was purchased only a few weeks before when we had been out antiquing! He said he paid less than two dollars for it. For this I anguished all afternoon?!?

If we place ourselves in dangerous situations then a little well-placed, rational fear is probably appropriate. Our bodies have the ability to release the appropriate chemicals when it is necessary for us to react more quickly than normally. Seldom, however, is this required on a daily basis in the lives of most of us.

The next time fear of challenge or change appears in your life, take a moment to approach it with childlike wonderment and excitement. Yes, taking responsibility and facing challenges can be scary, but only if we allow it to be so. My friend, Marie, shared a new acronym with me for the word “fear”: Feeling Excited And Ready!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

The Leopard’s Spots

I was recently in a discussion with someone who could not have been further away from my way of thinking if he tried. Actually, he did try and probably moved another few feet away, but I digress.

My friend was so recalcitrant in his beliefs that we ended up agreeing to disagree. It was then that he said, “You know a leopard can’t change his spots.” I suppose not, I thought.

Then I thought again. He’s not a leopard. He’s a walking, talking, breathing, sentient being that can analyze a situation and make a judgment call. He can weigh different sides of an issue at any given time and determine his stand, which could be different today than it was last week.

My friend probably can’t change the color of his hair (his spots) without chemical assistance, but he can change his thinking. We all can. But, as Einstein said, we cannot continue to think the same thoughts and expect different results.

He believes differently than I do. He believes he’s a product of his genetic background and family history. I think that’s a cop out and excuse for bad behavior, but that’s my judgment of him, not necessarily the truth. I also admit my judgment is heavily colored by the fact that he disagrees with me, which with him I find quite annoying!

When I admitted that fact it caused me to look at my own “spots.” I can’t change anyone’s thinking except my own. Instead of thinking of all the ways I could change his thinking (that would, of course, benefit him immensely, alter his life and make him a more pleasant companion in my mind), I decided to change my opinion about him. He’s perfectly fine the way he is. There’s nothing to change, except my attitude.

Part of that attitude means I don’t pity him when things go wrong for him due to his belief system or buy into his idea that the world is a horrible place where everyone is out to get him. I can empathize without sympathizing. I can also be the friend for him that I want him to be for me.

If you have someone in your life like my friend, be kind to them. Instead of criticizing them for their differences, embrace their individuality, love them and find all the good in them that you can.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Staying in Touch

Learn from the past, keep our eye on future goals, but live in the present. This agrees with Science of Mind philosophy. We must be present in the moment.

Last week, however, I learned the hard way how not keeping in touch with our roots can have a devastating effect on our mood and consciousness. I received a letter from an old friend in North Carolina to whom I had sent a Christmas card. He was writing to tell me that his partner of over 20 years had died of a rare stomach cancer nearly two years ago. They did not have email (still do not) and I never got advised of the death.

I had always planned to drive down to visit them, but did not. We had not spent any time together since I left the Atlanta area in 2000. I was still reeling from the news when, the very next day, I received a letter in response to my Christmas card from a friend in California. I have known this couple since the late 1980s. You guessed it. The other partner died nearly two year ago from a brain tumor. This couple had been partners for over 25 years. Again, I was not told at the time.

This story is being shared with you to remind us all that life can be unexpectedly cut short. Scripture says that “time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.” This fact of life is why it is crucial to live in the present, holding our friendships as precious and dear, and doing everything we can to live in integrity.

We live in a busy world; often much busier than it needs to be, but that is a fact of life for many people I know. Take the time to keep in touch. Write the email. Send a card snail mail. Make the call. Hug your loved ones every time you see them.

I cherish the memories I have of my friends who have recently passed on and I know they are doing great things wherever their consciousness now resides. If you have someone significant in your life with whom you have not recently connected do yourself and them a favor: Get in touch today!

In loving memory of Mike and Jon,

Terry

Past, Present and Future

Many people have been using the past week or so to review their recent past (2011), to think about where they are right now and to make plans and preparations for the future. 2012 promises to be a year of change and excitement!

There are some people who believe that the winter solstice on December 21, 2012, will mark the end of the world based on the “ending” of the Mayan calendar. The Mayans, however, were more farsighted than many in our time.

The Mayans understood that to move forward with new thoughts and plans we have to release the past. According to one belief, a 25,630 year “life cycle” of our planet is ending this year and another will initiate. If this is true then it behooves us to do everything possible to prepare for that change.

2012 can be a year of release for us all. A time to let go of the past, including thoughts of anger, fear and regret. This can be the year we commit to living authentically as the unique life force that we each are individually. All of us have a gift to give to others, a gift that is our ultimate purpose. Giving this gift allows us to bless the planet and has the added benefit of providing the peace of mind that so many seek.

Scripture says that “time and unforeseen circumstances befall us all.” Since change is the only constant in the Universe it stands to reason that living in the moment, with reflection of the past and an eye on the future, insures that we get the most out of each and every day.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry