Fear & Compassion

Memoir

Last week I decided to stop looking at any and all sources of news and current event information.

The result?

Instant relief; sustaining well-being.

The anger, anxiety, frustration, and stress that I would feel in reaction to this content is all gone.

It seemed like everything was bad news. And with this obsessive focus on the negative were storylines that always included blaming, shaming, and polarizing.

The refusal to accept life as it is, and our scarcity culture (with all its finger-pointing, division, hatred, and messaging that we are not enough), come from a place of fear.

Fear of change.
Fear of loss or lack of control.
Fear of uncertainty.
Fear of illness.
Fear of death.

I’m trying to feel compassion for the fear-mongers and the fearful.

This is a challenge – my anger at the injustice and selfishness can get in the way. It’s hard to drop my own pointing finger of judgment that I have aimed at what I think is wrong.

Can I be critical and compassionate at the same time?

I suppose that I believe in my own version of what is “right” and what is “true” as much as other people believe in theirs.

We all handle fear differently.

Fear is not meant to be avoided, denied, conquered, eliminated, repressed, or weaponized.

In doing so, the mind is poisoned and we lose sight of our connection with our integrity, with others, and with our calling to constructively respond to reality.

Fear is biological and natural – like other emotions, it sends us messages and offers an invitation to work kindly with it as we pay attention, learn what’s underneath the feeling and could benefit from our care, and take responsible action.

Not everyone understands this about fear. (I didn’t for most of my life). And even those who do understand may not be able to summon the courage and strength required to work with this challenging emotion. (I certainly can’t all of the time).

Remembering this helps me as I practice extending compassion to everyone… including myself.

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