Saturday, June 14, 2014

Like an Alchemist


"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’  You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."

Dale Carnegie

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it."

Rabindranath Tagore



I’ve been tapping to relieve myself of some of my deeper-seated fears.    It’s been helping, but I’ve only been doing it as a consistent practice for three days.  Up until now I’ve been using it when something bothers me rather than as a preventive measure.  I think I’ve often used prayer in the same way.  In fact, I’ve done a lot of things that way.  I deal with things when they happen, usually when they are emergencies, rather than planning ahead to prevent them from happening.  I don’t do this for everything, but I do it enough that it causes me problems. 
This is why I’m writing a blog now.  My goal is 100 by the end of my vacation.  That’s a little more than two a day.  Rather than wait “until the time is right” or “until I feel like it,” I’m working now in case something happens to prevent me from doing a blog later.  I’m doing the same with my radio shows.  I’ve done one every night this week.  My goal is 40.  I am 12% of the way there.  If I do one tonight, I will be 15% and if I do one tomorrow, then I will be at 17.5%.  Each day gets me a little closer.  And that’s why I’m writing another blog.
The other reason I’m writing is I feel sad and uncertain.  Whenever this feeling threatens to overtake me, I know I need to keep busy.  Writing helps me.  Doing something physical helps me.  Letting my mind take control, imagining the worst, does not help me.  Those things make me feel terrible.  So rather than allow my mind to take over and make me feel afraid, I do my work. 
I also apply logic.  Every time I have thought something was wrong, one of the two things happened:
1.     Nothing was wrong.  I simply imagined it and let my mind blow it out of proportion.  But there was nothing wrong.  Nothing.  Was. Wrong.    I’m reminded of Byron Katie’s analogy in her book, Loving What Is, that the thing I thought was a snake was only a rope.  I was terrified thinking it was a snake.  My mind was consumed with the snake.  I trembled.  I screamed.  I cried.  Then I found out it was a rope and I felt foolish.  But my relief was also great and I felt great joy once I realized my mistake.
2.     Something was wrong.  My instincts were correct.  But then, eventually, usually sooner than later, it got worked out.  In fact, not only did it work out, it improved things.  The snake was a snake, but it became a diamond.   And the bigger the snake it was, the bigger the diamond it became.  When it was over, I felt great joy at my newfound growth.

It should be noted that all my fear is now gone.  It vanished while I was writing.  It vanished while I was taking action.  I feel calm.  I feel good.  I feel God.  I still don’t know if I’m dealing with a rope or a snake, but at the moment, because I took action, I’m not really dealing with anything. 
I feel like an alchemist.  I took the base elements of fear and pain and transformed them into the gold of peace and wisdom.  And I did it through doing my work.  I feel very grateful.  I’m going to take advantage of this peace to tap, to pray, to give thanks and to worship God.  I have learned once again that my pain can be overcome.   I have learned once again that I just needed to Get Started and Keep Going.