Tag Archives: fear

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The Reign of Terror Ends – Week 24 Supplemental

Over the last 5 or 6 days, I’ve been doing battle with fear. Well, battle may be a strong word, as I’ve not been contending with fear. Rather, I’ve been experiencing fear and “dealing” with it. I found some interesting ideas in the process.

In the MKE, the Masterkey Experience, we’ve been learning about ourselves, and we’ve been exploring the limits of personal power. Each of us is on an individual quest, and our “mileage,” as one would expect, has varied.

Where I’ve come so far is a place where I can celebrate my individual gifts and talents. I also celebrate everyone else’s gifts and talents. This is a place of abundance, love, bliss, freedom, autonomy, health, service, legacy, recognition and unending spiritual growth. Nice place? You bet.

What’s the catch? Glad you asked. Because there is one, and the price is steep. At least it seemed steep at first glance.

In answer to question 15-9, Haanel gave us one version of the key to this kingdom. “We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.”

Most of us have experienced the idea that faith is the polar opposite of fear. If so, to use Haanel’s comparison, fear is darkness, and all that is needed to dispel darkness is to turn on the light of faith.

Marianne Williamson said it this way:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

In the Hero’s Journey motif, the hero is heralded into a new life. That new life begins by leaving the old one and entering an unknown world. On the journey, the hero, with help at first, faces danger and adversity. Ultimately, the hero comes to the abyss, where he or she must “do battle” with nemesis. In that battle, the hero’s old life dies in sacrifice to nemesis. Atonement and resurrection follow, bringing the hero a new life in which he or she re-enters the previously known world with new powers and a new role of leadership and service to the rest of humanity.
Hero's Journey
Interestingly, my experience was that every adversity along my path, with or without help, felt like the abyss of nemesis. Until now.

Until now, I believed bromides like, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Or, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Not that these don’t express truth. They do. However, the truth they express has a significant limitation.

The limitation is that the recommended practice presupposes the ongoing presence of fear. Until now, I believed that was inevitable, so the expressed truths made perfect sense. In fact, having practiced a little, I had personal proof that the practice worked.

Inside, however, I knew a greater truth lay waiting discovery. Until now.

My discovery? My greater truth is, “Danger is real, but fear is optional.” And, fear is not recommended. Moreover, danger, too, is largely optional. When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. Then I have a new heaven and a new earth.

I intuited that I was dealing with some “core” fears. These were wrapped around a couple deeply held beliefs I had layered into my DNA over many years, starting very young.

Fear 1: Money is evil, and I can’t handle or manage money.

Fear 2: I am unable to achieve at a truly high level.

I knew all along that fear is irrational and that my ultimate triumph was assured because of my faith in Christ. That cognition did not alter or banish my fear.

Until now.

In the abyss of nemesis (fear), the light of insight began to dawn. I saw that all fear is really one fear: “What if?” All the variations of fear are an extension of the basic fear. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if _________? Fill in the blank for yourself. Even worse for me was the extended formula. What if X? Then Y? Horrors!

Whence, then, the light? Faith. Faith is a gift, free for the asking, and unlimited in its power. The price? Sacrifice.

My sacrifice is being willing to live without fear. In essence, to take up my bed and walk. In Hero’s Journey terms, to sacrifice the former dependent-on-fear life.

I now see that fear has been my crutch, my excuse, my “out.” The core of that fear? What if I’m not the hero I imagine myself to be? What then?

It’s great that our paths are strewn with concept-tools like the Serenity Prayer, the Law of Least Effort, and scriptural maxims like, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I particularly appreciate the Law of Least Effort this week. The idea that I could just accept things as they are without resistance or rancor has been very comforting. Acknowledging the fact that I largely created my own abyss and crafted my own nemesis is empowering, even if a little troubling. The practice of defenselessness makes it more comfortable to proceed into an excuse-free world.

The Hero’s Journey motif is consistent throughout history and across all cultures. Why? Because we are all born knowing we’re heroes and heroines. In American parlance, we’re all superheroes. The imagination of creative writers gives voice to this universal knowledge. The persistent success of comic book heroes bears loud testimony to, and gives vibrant social proof of, the underlying universal truths we all perceive.

What I did not, perhaps could not, see was it is only in the hero’s journey that I discover the type of superhero I am. It is only in facing the adversity of my life, in facing the adversity for which I programmed myself, that my real strengths emerge. It is only in following my self-directed bliss that my true greatness unfolds. And it is only in my personal abyss in which the gold of my character and persona are sufficiently refined to be of general benefit when I re-emerge into the known world.

So, what if I’m not the superhero I imagine myself to be? Shallow self-knowledge of the pre-Hero’s Journey world all but guaranties I will not be as I thought. After all, it is only in the journey that I recognize my true gifts, my superpowers.

Here’s the good news. Since I’m definitely a superhero, the worst my new world can be is with me as Aquaman. Maybe my only superpower is sea life telepathy, but that’s still pretty cool when the need arises. Good thing I like sea life and the water in general, huh? At least I’m ripped, buffed out and look good in spandex, right?

When I told a business partner today that he had a superhero within, he immediately smiled. His “Subby” resonated with the idea so fast the smile was on his face before he could finish processing the words.

What’s your superpower? Aren’t you glad you engaged in the Hero’s Journey so you could find it?

As always, I’m glad you’re with me on the journey.

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A Life Orchestrated Around Fear – Week 22

How big is fear in your life? In mine, fear was the primary driving force behind much of the programming. You probably know some people like that. Maybe it’s you sometimes.

I feared the future, failure, success, commitments, not committing, poverty, wealth, feasting and famine. Most of all, I feared not being “enough.”

Always something more was needed. More education, more training, more information, more money, more time, more fitness, more suits, more titles, more achievements, more skills. Never enough, never sufficient.

Unknowingly, I had given power to some nebulous event or person or circumstance or business or system to make me good enough, smart enough, organized enough and/or attractive enough to succeed.

Mind you, I didn’t originate much of this programming. I learned it at my parents’ knees. Extended family taught me. Teachers taught me. Society taught me. And I learned and I bought and I internalized all the lessons of inadequacy, limitation and lack.

And, recently, I unlearned them. I first created a desirable life vision. Then I read edifying truths about how to profitably think. Then awareness dawned.

Consciousness precedes change.

I now know that the only way for me to experience growth and positive change is to create the desired conditions inside, in the subjective. Then, over time, conditions outside, in the objective, manifest in conformity with the vision within.

Another example might help. Several recent experiences demonstrated the power of enmity. In one, a friend called with exciting news about finding a new company with which to apply his skills and talents. As he described his new “love,” I chided him for being the “message” rather than the messenger. I apologized later, but the damage was done. Healing will hopefully mend the breach over time.

The impact of these experiences caused me to ponder how they were all related, and the answer came easily. In each experience I manifested a sense of enmity or competition. And I easily discerned the source: insecurity. The source of insecurity? FEAR. Same song; different verse.

I feel grateful for the consciousness of fear as it manifested in insecurity. I know from recent study in the Masterkey Mastermind Experience that fear, guilt, anger, hurt feelings and unworthiness frequently accompany expansion of one’s comfort zone. Thus, my awareness of these feelings allows me to simultaneously feel reassured in progress, despite the pain of unintentionally straining relationships.

Given the foregoing, you won’t be surprised that close friendships have been rare, and that a sense of impending doom was a frequent companion until recently. Praise God for a new day!

A month’s reading of Mandino’s Scroll V from The Greatest Salesman has taught me that mourning yesterday’s failures darkens today’s joy and diverts energy from making today the best it can be. I can, however, make amends today as well as possible, and I can remember to connect.

You see, enmity fosters a sense of “other.” We’re learning from Haanel’s Masterkey System that “other” is an unnecessarily limiting illusion. The truth is connection. Connection with God above, connection with God within (myself), and connection with God all around (nature, people, etc.). With connection, enmity vanishes.

We have, each moment, a privilege. That privilege is choice. For me, the best choice is conscious connection. Eventually, with practice, connection will be automatic and require no further conscious choice. I will have changed the music and the orchestra will play a more pleasing tune.

Until then, I am humbled and grateful for loving, forgiving friends, companions and fellow travelers.

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Week 03 – Faith or Fear?

All my life I’ve espoused and proclaimed an active faith in a loving God and in my Savior, Jesus Christ. That faith informs me that God, my Heavenly Father, cares for me and holds me lovingly in His hands. I also have faith that Heavenly Father extends to me His grace through the sacrifice and Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have experienced that grace many times.

And, yet, something has been missing. Or, more correctly, I’ve missed something. The concept is permission to prosper.

I thought I understood this concept, as it struck me several months ago that I needed to give myself permission to prosper. I thought I’d done that. And, perhaps I did, though not completely.

Enlightenment began to dawn yesterday as I was reading and pondering my current definite major purpose document. I sensed a lack of clarity of purpose in my writing, and I felt driven to discover the crystal within my intent.

And today, as I read again my purpose statement, the fog lifted. I saw in my writing the face of fear in a hypothetical assertion of faith. What a shock! Fear is the exact opposite of faith! I feel grateful to have seen the light and humble that Heavenly Father would extend to me the tender mercy of inspiration and clarity.

Here’s the essence of it. My writing exposed two fear-based beliefs:
1. That I somehow needed (or didn’t have) God’s permission to prosper; and
2. That I could not prosper under my own power.

Faith allows me to see the error of those beliefs.

The Savior, in the Sermon on the Mount, already told me, “Ask, and ye shall receive. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.” I already had God’s permission to prosper!

As if to reinforce the point, Jesus matter-of-factly discussed the power of merchant stewards to double their investments in the Parable of the Talents. And here I was, hiding my talent as did the slothful servant! Thank goodness for the gift of repentance!

And He had given me a third witness of the same truth in Doctrine and Covenants Section 58: “… men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” (Emphasis mine)

Praise God for the power to change and the power to act! I am re-writing my purpose statement with a proper assertion of faith. God is the source of power, and He has imbued me with it. I get to go forward and use that power to prosper. I have His permission and His loving instruction in the form of gentle, loving commandments. It is my will to obey, and I rejoice in the power to prosper with which He has endowed me. Thank you!

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