In her latest book “A Course in Weight Loss”, Marianne Williamson offers plenty of food for thought about fear. Simple, yet profound statements pop from the page. For example:
Fear rather than love has been doing your choosing. (P.64)
Whoa! Who among us can honestly say they have never made a fear-based choice? When I first read that sentence, it caused me to pause and reflect on my own life, and if and when I had made choices based in fear.
I thought about choices I’d made that had had a radical effect on my life, and those choices that had been corrupted by fear niggling away in my mind. In every instance, I’d felt a strong intuitive pull in one direction and fear had pulled me in another. I tend to respect my intuition, but there have been times when due to stress, fear has over-ridden.
People who know me are probably surprised to read that. A lot of people have told me they admire my courage, and yet, how courageous am I if I allow fear to run the show, even if only for a few decisions? Yes, I’ve stood in the face of fear, and pushed through deeply rooted fears to get more from life, but even so, fear has swayed certain choices. I cannot help but wonder how different my life would be had I followed the intuitive voice on those occasions rather than let fear persuade me to go her way.
Regretting past choices is a waste of time and precious psychic energy. The only thing one can do is constantly evolve towards making better choices; heart-centred choices based in love rather than fear.
But when confronted with a decision needing to be made under stressful conditions, how do we know a decision is heart-centred? How do we know when our rational hearts are talking and when fear’s voice is booming? Another message from Marianne’s book. This from the Forward, written by Dean Ornish, MD:
When we practice listening to our inner voice in quiet moments, we can learn to access it at the stressful times when we most need it.
Practice. Meditation. Practice. Just like you practice anything you want to do well. Practice listening through meditation. Although all the gurus say 20 minutes a day is what you need, if you can’t still your mind for 20, start with five and work up to 20. Start by sitting for five minutes, doing nothing other than breathing. Simply focus on your breath and watch the light show in your closed eyes.
Whenever I meditate I feel better. Regardless. I have no difficulty meditating for 20 minutes – when I do it. I guess I just have to practice doing it as well.
Other quotes about fear from Marianne’s book:
Fear is a psychic tyrant that has no intention of letting its slave go free. It will say whatever it needs to say to confuse your thinking and pervert your appetites. (p. 51)
Fear is like a thief with endless patience, casually circling your house in the belief that you will ultimately be careless enough to leave one of the doors unlocked. It will simply hide and wait. (P. 56)
Fear literally weighs you down, but love enlightens you. (P. 60)
After all those heavies, here’s something softer to think about:
Your deepest fear is of being beautiful. (P. 60)
As this post was inspired by Marianne’s A Course in Weight Loss, here’s a story about cookies.