Are you afraid of mermaids and unicorns? Fear and our minds

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You better be as they are mystical creatures and don’t actually exist! Fear is really just an illusion. It’s fake evidence that looks real. When we succumb to fear, we believe in a thought that we have created that is probably not reality.

How many times have we created a worst case scenario in our minds and convinced ourselves that it was our reality? If someone doesn’t call you back right away, do you create a story that something is wrong with you? When your checking account balance drops, do you suddenly find yourself having to move out of your house and live on the streets? When you give a speech, do you convince yourself that everyone is bored and thinks you’re horrible? Many of us have become addicted to the negative feelings associated with fear and continue to create more situations that perpetuate more fear. It becomes a vicious circle.

Fear is the same as faith in that we believe in something we cannot see. However, having faith means believing in something much better and trusting that everything will work out. Unfortunately, most of us think of putting our trust and energy in fear instead of faith. There is something within us that creates fear. It is the unknown, the lack of information we have and the uncertainty of what will come in the future. Putting our rational mind in control causes us to create and believe whatever story we can possibly fabricate, regardless of the negative emotions it creates.

We have an innate quality in each of us that we were born with as part of our survival instincts. It is the fight and flight mechanism we were created with and it keeps us out of harm’s way. That quality was instilled in us as part of our natural survival instincts. Fear can be a good thing, as it was meant to protect us from danger. In earlier days, when hunters saw a bear or mountain lion, their fear kicked in and they got a surge of adrenaline that allowed them to choose whether they needed to fight to survive or flee to safety.

Many of us grew up in dysfunctional homes where the environment was unpredictable or unstable. Whether it was an alcoholic, emotionally unbalanced, or angry parent, we learned that we were in a constant state of survival. We lived with uncertainty and inconsistency. With constant stress on our systems, we begin to live in a chronic state of fear. It was about survival. We learned to do what we needed to just to survive. It could be avoidance, physically leaving the situation, becoming angry, emotionally dissociating, or emotionally shutting down. Fear continued to run rampant in our systems and became a way of life for many of us.

I personally learned to “run” into situations that became emotionally stressful or uncomfortable for me. Either I would physically run away from the argument or I would shut down emotionally and disengage. It was all I could do to keep myself emotionally safe. I lived in fear and it paralyzed me. Meanwhile, cortisol (stress hormone produced by the brain) was building up in my system and manifesting itself in back pain, headaches, anxiety, and other health-related issues.

Our society promotes fear-driven living through the media, politics, social media, and other world news. The media constantly keeps us locked in a chronic state of fear. When you turn on the news, the Internet, or pick up the newspaper, within minutes you’ll have a reason to be afraid. Whether it’s a deadly flu, a failing economy, a natural disaster, or a shopping mall shooting, we have no choice but to be afraid. Most people continue to see day after day how situations get worse and more tragic stories emerge. They have a subconscious need to feel fear. It may have become a familiar yet comfortable place to live. Fear is simply created by a single thought. This thinking creates negative feelings, which leads to emotional discomfort or even trauma.

So how do we stop the madness? Start by eliminating any fear-producing situations that you have control over. Stop watching the news, social networks on the internet and reading the newspaper. We have no control over what happens in the world, so if we are realistic, we will realize that the information we get from these sources doesn’t really do anything for us, it just creates fear. Have you heard the saying, “ignorance is bliss?” It is true! My life has become much more peaceful without television. And somehow, if there’s some big headline I need to know about, I end up hearing about it through friends or family.

Eliminate insecure people from your life. If you have someone who keeps you in a perpetual state of physical or emotional fear, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship and decide if you want to continue to have someone in your life who makes you more afraid.

In addition to these items, here are some steps you can take to overcome it:

The first step is to recognize what we are doing. Where there is fear, there is an absence of love. Love is our natural state in which we were born. We knew that there was a creator who would provide everything we needed and that we would always be safe and loved. As we grew older, we put our trust in our caregivers, who also lived in fear. We need to get back to our spiritual connection. No matter what our personal creed is, we must accept that we come from a place of love. This love still exists and we have separated from it. Our fear stems from a lack of understanding and faith in our own divinity and we separate ourselves from our own divine nature which is unconditional and limitless love. The degree of fear reflects the degree of separation from our divinity.

When we live in fear, we are putting our faith in our own mortality, which then limits us and keeps us in a place of loneliness and scarcity. We must learn to trust that there is a power or force greater than ourselves, call it the Universe, God, Higher Power, Source, or whatever else works best for you. We must learn to believe that this power loves us and will provide everything we need if we let go, trust and allow it. The more fearful we are, the more we feel the need to control our life by controlling everything and everyone around us to avoid loneliness, poverty and pain.

Second, stop the thoughts as soon as you catch them. If we allow ourselves to drift from one fearful thought to another, we start a snowball effect, and sometimes it can be hard to stop. The faster we stop, the easier it is to stop. We are big fans of Byron Katie and the 4 questions of hers that she suggests to lead us back to love. When you have a fearful thought:

1. Ask yourself if the thought is true.
2. Can you absolutely believe that it is true?
3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be (how would you feel) without the thought?

Lastly, you can counter the thought. When we ask the fourth question, as stated above, we somehow begin to feel better and release our attachment to the initial thought. Give someone the benefit of the doubt as to why they haven’t called you, maybe their phone went dead or they had a family emergency or work issue come up. If we are afraid of running out of money, remember that you have probably never run out of money in the past and you will probably be fine. I like to remind myself of the four core beliefs that are our birthright and keep us connected to source. I am safe, I am loved, I am worthy (and will be provided for), I am complete, and I am complete. When you are faced with fear, there is some thought that you have created in your mind that contradicts one of these beliefs. This is what separates us from the source and from the peace in which we are meant to live.

In closing, fear is a way of life for many of us. It does not have to be this way. From my own personal experience, I thought there was no other way to live and just assumed that fear was an emotion that was a natural part of who I was. I found myself driving down the highway in a tense state every day. Once I realized that it was a choice I was making and was able to slowly tame the wild stallion, life became much more peaceful and manageable for me.

At the end of the day, we can remember the famous quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Actually, the fear that we are creating is what we should really fear and end it. Fear directs our attention to the future instead of keeping us in the present moment. If we can stay focused on the present, we can get to that place of peace. Most of what we create is based on situations from the past and stories that we have made up. Very little of our fear is really justified unless we have experienced something and have a legitimate reason to believe that it will happen again.

Now, given this information, are you really afraid of mermaids and unicorns?

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