We have seen the end of the first decade of a brand new millennium. From its beginning, this new millennium has brought us change, much of it disturbing because of the way it overturned our worldview and created new fears. Change continues whether we agree with it or not. If we are wise, we roll with it and accept that it is what we can depend on the most in life.
I believe one of our tasks as human beings is to overcome the useless fears that pervade our modern lives. One of the big fears is about change. I think fear restricts the body, mind, and spirit, shrinking one’s life experience into an uncomfortable little box. Yet, there is so much focus on it, I wonder why human beings would want to create this type of constriction for themselves.
One means to overcome fear is to develop a sense of trust and faith in something greater than oneself, such as a belief that there is something beyond our ordinary mundane lives. World religions and philosophies have sought to provide this for people, but many of them have fallen short of actually teaching a person how to be free from useless fears.
I was thinking about the movie detailing a catastrophic 2012. Many of you know about the prophecies associated with that year, including it being the end year of the Mayan calendar. People have created all sorts of fear-based stories around this, such as it being the end of days where horrible things are going to happen to us before we all burn in a ball of fiery hell. Then Hollywood makes a movie so thousands of folks can sit and stare at it, allowing horrific images to burn into the collective psyche.
I suspect it is partly the addiction to adrenalin that makes trauma, drama, blood, and guts intriguing to people. But also it is a refusal on the part of many to harness one’s mind for the sake of good. To get into the director’s chair of one’s own mind means to take responsibility for one’s personal fears. Uh-oh. Too scary! Some would say, “How can I take responsibility for the fears I experience? Life just gets thrown my way and I have to deal with it somehow!”
Although you have to deal with it you do have a choice! You can grow your fears or live every moment of your life as if it were sacred. Even the worst of times can be your life’s most deeply healing and enriching, bringing you to an entirely new place of wisdom. On the other hand, your fears increase and grow stronger when you think about them and give them a place at the dinner table. Your fears multiply when you watch the news and agree with the newscasters that things are really, really bad. Naturally they increase when you share your fears with others and convince them that it is true, it’s a quite scary place, this planet earth, and we all might die someday. Or, at the very least, we might not get what we want. Humph!
Just for fun, listen to a conversation about 2012 between Fear and Non-fear. “Oh boy, we better get ready to hang on because the earth is going to rumble. We are going to have earthquakes, tsunamis, maybe even nuclear war.” So? “Well, our houses will all be smashed and under water! Or worse, there could be horrible explosions!” So? “We might lose everything! People could die!” So? “We don’t want that!” Why not? “Because we don’t!” Why not? “Because everything would be ruined!” So? “We could die!” So? “We don’t want that!” Ok, we don’t want that. What do we want? “We want life to go on as it is, with very little change!” Ok. “And we don’t want calamity and upset!” You are right, we don’t. What do you suppose you will be doing in 2013? “Fearing something else!” From a house that is under water? “Well, it will probably not be under water.” How do you know? “I don’t! But we are in the midst of great change and we need to prepare for it.” Would you be willing to change your mind? “Change my mind? About what?” About how awful the future could be? “After all I’ve been through? Now I have to change my mind? Oh, I can’t take all this…” Ok. Get back to me if you change your mind.
Silly isn’t it? When we have fear that is not related to the type necessary to crank up the body’s defenses for physical survival, it is an indication that the mind is in a circular cycle, stuck. The way to overcome the fear is to change the mind. It is imperative to learn to accept change, to not fear it, and to welcome it. When we allow change to make way for something new, we allow our lives to roll forward. We allow ourselves to grow. The more we can flow with change in life and allow our minds to be free, the easier it is to live in the moment and enjoy this life, this day, this minute, right now.