Mindfully replace fear with Love

Fear is a dominant force among us today. Partly this is due to the inherent uncertainty of events and our inability to control them. A great deal of ambient fear is also generated by the many media sources that bombard us constantly. Those sources must attract our attention in order to survive. Media do not hesitate to focus on negativity, or to exaggerate and even fabricate their stories of imminent danger. They have learned that fear, and the negative emotions such as hatred that it engenders, are powerful magnets to our egos. Ego thrives on fear and negative emotions; they reinforce its paranoia and support its demand for our exclusive attention. In many ways, the media are the voices of ego. 

We live in an environment of instant communication and constant exposure to the agendas of others.  That environment insists that we respond, and we may develop the habit of reacting immediately to every stimulus. This means that our reactions are not thought out, but are based on  irrational latent fears, prejudice, or the infectious fears of other people.  As a result, we say things we later wish we could take back, and do things we never should have done. We are easily manipulated by fear to lose our grip on truth, on our values, and on spiritual wisdom.

To cope with fear, mindfulness is essential. First, we must be mindful of ego's agenda, which is not to protect us, but to aggrandize itself. In pursuit of that goal, ego will create exaggerated scenarios in an attempt to paralyze us with fear. We must learn to recognize ego's influence in our thoughts, and to dismiss it as much as we are able. What we cannot dismiss, we must learn to contemplate calmly and rationally. Fear is a primitive mechanism designed to trigger a fight or flight response to physical danger. It may serve a useful purpose in calling our attention to social or emotional threats, but once it has done so, fear must be set aside so that we can calmly and mindfully consider, plan, and execute ways to deal with those matters in light of our fundamental values and beliefs.

How can we set fear aside? Ego has a lifetime of experience in monopolizing our attention. By its nature, fear grips us tightly. Mindfulness can help loosen that grip. Ways mindfulness can help include:

  • Keeping in mind our core values, and restraining ego's exaggeration of danger;
  • Recognizing that nothing outside ourselves can disrupt our secure connection with Spirit, our Source of love, security, joy, and strength;
  • Resisting calls to panic and maintaining a calm, thoughtful attitude that will inspire others to do the same;
  • Not accepting every unsupported assertion as fact; 
  • Recognizing and shutting off knee-jerk reactions;
  • Pausing to consider before reacting;
  • Seeking first to understand, rather than to be understood.

Meditation is very helpful in developing mindfulness. It helps us to focus and to see clearly. It reminds us we are not ego, and that the thinking mind is merely a tool that can be used for good or can cause great harm. It maintains our inspirational connection to the Source of Love, the sole basis for right action.

Mindfulness is a skill, and requires practice. With enough practice, it becomes a habit. As a habit, it can replace the habit of reacting in a knee-jerk fashion to fearful stimuli arising in the environment, or created by ego. It can be the mechanism by which we teach ourselves to act - or refrain from acting - out of Love, not fear.


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