One day last week when I turned to the computer for help, I came across this quote that I liked a lot:
“Fear does not predict the future: it only tells you that you are afraid. The trick is to recognize the emotion of fear when it emerges, accept it, discover its source and decide what to do with it.” – Jay Uhler, How to Make Friends With Your Feelings
Then, while I was looking up Jay Uhler, I came across an excellent article I had bookmarked awhile ago and long since forgotten, titled Befriending Fear. So I took some time to review it and apply it to my problems and fears of the day.
Of course, reading about these things is one thing, and actually practicing them is something else, and keeping at it day by day when there are fearful things to be done that are important but not desperately urgent – well, that is the real test for me.
Let’s see if I can go and practice a little this morning…
poster image credit:Wikipedia
Even though I’ve never seen the movie, this poster image looked like a good Halloween avatar for me, especially since I’ve come to see my house and all its problems as a sort of “Hell House”.
I think allowing people to stay with me is helping to shine a spotlight on at least some of those fearful, hellish (to me) problems that I’ve been avoiding.
(Funny, other people aren’t so afraid of my problems as I am!)
image from wikimedia commons
A few days ago I watched two videos (found here) of Randy Frost interviewing people with hoarding problems, i.e., problems with disorganization and too much stuff. (People like me.) He asked them to look at their fears, and then do an experiment to test whether or not what they feared was true.
One of the videos was called “Downward Arrow”, and this morning I found a web site describing a little bit more about that technique of shining a spotlight on worries and fears by exploring what’s underneath the surface fear and discomfort. In the video example, a woman was afraid of discarding a purple blouse that her sister had given her as a gift, worrying that her sister would be insulted and upset with her. Randy Frost asked how the sister felt about her hoarding problems, and she realized that the sister might be pleased rather than upset if she gave the blouse to the Salvation Army. It turned out that the sister didn’t even remember giving her the blouse.
My worried thinking can be equally crazy and distorted.
I tried sitting at my messy desk and clearing some space yesterday, but I didn’t get far. At least I can give myself credit for starting, and I did manage to get some laundry done while I was avoiding my paperwork fears and worries. I hope I can keep shining that spotlight more this week.
...and listening to a radio program about befriending fear (about making choices, but it’s the same thing for me), and reading about befriending fear. Maybe today I can practice befriending fear.
image credit: wikimedia commons
I really have no idea. I’m having trouble with this. Some ideas to try today:
- Be willing to spend time together with my fear instead of running from it and avoiding it.
- Be kind and gracious and respectful.
- Listen with to the fear with curiosity and an open mind.
- Seek to understand and appreciate where the fear is coming from.