ReConnections Blog

By Melinda Brett on 9/8/2014 2:22 PM

Fear, it robs us of serenity quicker than anything I know.  We can get scared about almost anything.  The worry and fear about all the awful things that could happen can take over.  All the “what ifs” hijack our nervous system.  The more we become fixated on the worry, the greater it becomes.  The real kicker about worry is that when it comes to things to worry about we never deplete the supply.

I have found worry is driven by three core thought patterns: feeling out of control, believing you can’t handle something, and being invested in things staying the same.  If we identify which thought pattern is driving the worry and can challenge that thought, we can diminish the worry.

We all like to believe that we are in control of our own lives, but the truth is all we are ever really in control of is our own perspective and actions.  When we are confronted with the reality that we are not powerful enough to stop weather, death, job loss, the economy it sends us into a tailspin.   Most of the time what I have observed is that all of those painful experiences usually create an opportunity for us to learn more, discover strength in our character and connect us to others more deeply.

Our ability to handle things in our lives is continually tested and it never ceases to amaze me how much people really do get through in this life.  When we are panicked, however, we forget this.  Reminding yourself of how strong you are, how much you are loved, and how much the universe supports growth can help.

The third is that we hate change.  There are times in life where it’s not even about what is changing that causes us distress, it is just the fact that change is occurring.  We can get lost in the distorted belief that things are supposed to stay the same.  All of life, nature, the planet is constantly changing.  Most change is for the good.

What I have found as a mantra that helps with fear coming from any of those three thoughts is “trust the process.”  It is a balm that reminds me that things are unfolding and that it will all be used for good and I will grow and be enhanced by the experience.

Tell us about your experience getting past fear.

By Melinda Brett on 7/23/2013 12:00 AM

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV

To know something is different than to practice it.  I find myself getting anxious about things before I stop to think about it.  I may start out the day fine, but then a problem develops that needs to be dealt with, then another, then another, and I begin to feel bad. 

My day started at 5:30 a.m. waking to the sound of the new puppy jangling in her playpen.  I come downstairs to find she’s had diarrhea in the night; not once, but twice.  I know today that I need to call about a repair  to fix one vehicle, while driving another to work.  I don’t have a parking permit on the truck I am taking to work so will have to fill the meter with quarters, or park in the big lot and pay. 

At 9:00 a.m. I get a call from the automobile repair shop.  Last week I found out that my 20 year old farm truck will need $600 in repairs to fix the brakes and we have sworn not to put any more money in that vehicle.  The guy who had agreed to buy it for the engine backed out and the garage wants the car moved or they will start charging storage.  Meanwhile, I have all my regular morning chores and getting ready for the day.

I begin by opening the playpen door, while holding the puppy to the side with one hand and rolling up the puppy pads with the other hand.  The puppy licks my hand.  I smile and realize that it’s all manageable.  After I take care of the puppy problem I take a minute to relax, take a deep breath and make a plan.  Half of my problem is that when I start feeling overwhelmed my brain tends to shut down and I don’t feel like doing anything.

I tell myself that there is nothing happening that I can’t handle and there is no reason to panic.  I review my problems and decide on a plan to solve them.  I feel better already.

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