Whenever I am watching a movie and it comes to the scary bit with the protagonist being chased by an evil foe or some equally terrifying encounter, I always end up shouting at the TV something along the lines of ‘hide up that tree’ or ‘pretend you are dead and just lay there!’
This is generally followed up by a quick and authoritative ‘because that’s what I would do’. And it in that moment I truly believe that is what I would do.
However, in reality, it isn’t. Although it’s true I am no avid tree climber, the reason I would not pretend to be dead or shimmy up a tree is purely biological. One of the remarkable things about any sentient being is that we come installed with a nervous system that provides us with a ‘fight or flight’ response.
True, we also have a ‘rest and restore’ one to keep us in balance, but with a marauding horde of blood thirsty heathens on my tail, I am pretty sure I would not be waiting for the water to boil for my next cup of tea.
And so it is with life, no one is stagnant really; life doesn’t allow us to be. Even in stagnant ponds there is an abundance of life under the surface. We are always calibrating to circumstances and needs whether that be on a physical level (your muscles are working when you are sitting down – well – some of them are!) or on an emotional level.
We calibrate on an emotional level to others needs and expectations. We also to some extent curb our beliefs and actions to fit in with other people’s dogma or expectation of how we should behave. We sometimes do this out of a sense of duty or because we do not want to hurt anyone else’s feelings unnecessarily
However we can take this ‘sense of duty’ to the extreme and become imprisoned in other people’s expectations of how we should behave, even when this does not align with our own higher belief system, and this is where conflict can arise. To go against our own internal belief system is to not connect with the truth of who we are.
This doesn’t mean that our belief system cannot be changed; in fact one should always be testing this system, just as you would a fire alarm. This way we can ensure we are still aligned to purpose, and quite often we will find that new beliefs replace old ones.
Without this realignment of our belief system, thoughts, and goals we can become addicted to fear. This can be fear of what may happen to us in the future, fear of what others may think of our actions, thoughts, beliefs and lifestyle, or indeed all of these.
I have often questioned actions and decisions I have made in my own life such as why did I choose a career which did not suit me? Why didn’t I pursue what I really wanted to do when I left school? And the answer to that is all down to a familiar four letter word; FEAR.
I was afraid of what others might think of me, but more importantly was that I didn’t love or believe in myself enough to dare to think in any other way. I have come to realize that by not making a decision in life, you are making a decision. You are making a decision not to change and not to go with life’s heady flow. Furthermore I have learned that I need to be mindful to continue to re-calibrate and live my life ‘on purpose’.
I have also become more mindful of the fact that what we don’t confront in our own lives has a way of turning up sooner or later in any event. It’s almost like carrying around a law of attraction machine.
That’s not to say bad things won’t happen if you don’t focus on them, but it certainly seems to give them more power. I have been terrified of certain events in my own life, some of which have come to pass.
But I have dealt with them. And then I think of the many things I have conquered; fear of flying, fear of change, fear of having no money, fear of making a fool of myself in public, fear of being fat, fear of being thin, fear of loving, fear of living. The list is a long one.
So when fear is chasing me I am not going to hide up a tree or play dead, I will confront it and do whatever it is that I need to do. Because in action; there is life.
[Eleanor is an experienced, original writer who likes to ‘write from the hip‘. Her engaging content, which covers many subjects is published across a range of media. As well as being a professional writer she is also interested in animal welfare and she spends her time in Hungary, France and the UK combining her passions of writing and working with animals. Visit her website at https://kreativcopywriting.com/ and you can also follower her on Twitter.]