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Making Fear Your Friend

How to make friends with your fear and pain

     When we are very small children we urinate and defecate whenever and wherever the urge arises. Early on, however, we learn to control these basic urges and limit their expression to a private place (the toilet room). And, for the most part, this limitation does not seriously hamper our elimination or our health. 

     Can you imagine, however, what would happen if we were somehow “suppressed” in urinating and defecating under any circumstances, private or not? What if we were given the messages that something was wrong with us if we had to “express ourselves” in this way? What if we were given the messages that others would not like us, would not love us, would not respect us if we didn’t somehow “keep it in,” or, at worst, keep it as a dirty secret that we needed to express ourselves in this way?

    Of course, it is obvious that “keeping it in” would be impossible. “It” will come out one way or another. But, given our desire to be liked, loved, and respected, we would go to great lengths to pretend that we don’t need to pee or “take a dump.” 

    Can you imagine a society in which there were no public or private toilets, no acceptable and official place to take a dump (shades of the movie Pleasantville!) — and somehow we had to pretend that we didn’t need to “do that”? Can you begin to imagine all the obscure, circuitous, and damaging effects that this would have on each and every moment of our lives? 

     I submit that, in large measure, regarding our mental/emo-tional/spiritual life, we essentially do what we would never think of doing regarding the natural process of defecation: we suppress and hold in what we need to express and let out.
    Young children typically express any and all feelings immediately in sound, with nothing held back. This applies equally to feelings of joy, excitement, anger, fear, and pain. Yet, slowly but surely, children accept the thousands of subtle and not-so-subtle messages that say, “If you want to be liked, loved, and respected, you will not express certain feelings so spontaneously, especially those of fear, anger, and pain.” And, we are not provided with any method or approach to express these feelings privately where they will not cause damage to others or to how others see us.

   It could be argued that the defining difference between a child and an adult is that an adult has learned to censor the expression of thoughts and feelings. This learning process typically starts around the age of four and is usually well established by the age of eight. I am not going to suggest that we go back to being “uncensored children,” even if it were possible. But just because we learn to censor and edit what gets verbally expressed doesn’t mean that we still don’t have the need (in order to remain happy and joyous) for the regular self-expression that a young child spontaneously exudes. When it comes to taking a dump, we acknowledge and recognize that physical need and we provide the ongoing acceptance and encouragement for handling it. However, in the arena of “taking a dump” with our emotions, for the most part, we have not acknowledged that this need continues throughout adulthood.

    As a result, to a lesser or greater degree, emotional constipation is a chronic condition afflicting almost every human being above the age of five. And, for the most part, since it is a condition that everyone shares, no one recognizes it as an aberration. 

    The four processes in this section are designed to assist in the execution of the first cornerstone of choosing courage, embracing the energy of one’s fear (and pain) and making friends with that fear.

   The first process,
Making friends with your fear and pain, can be used in any and all situations to quickly eliminate the resistance to your fear and tap into its vital energies for your own use. Look for opportunities to use this process many times every day.

   The second process,
EnChanting™, takes a deeper cut at de-repressing and expressing pent-up feelings. Unlike the first process, it generally should be done when no one else is around. If you want to really keep the feelings well expressed, do this at least 30 minutes a day (you can probably find a way to do it concurrently with some other task such as driving).

    The third process,
Create quickly a “deep awakening renewal,” is the most powerful of all these processes. Thirty minutes alone with this process will transform any mood, attitude, or feeling. This is another process that requires privacy. Take on this process at least once a week to create a deep feeling of energized serenity in your life.

   The fourth process,
Create a “whine list” for whining, is the only process that is not done alone. It has its own unique power in helping you move through feelings of depression, resignation, anger, etc. This process should be done anytime you feel stuck. Choose the courage to call someone on your “whine list” and then really whine!

   Although the space allotted to the description of these processes is a relatively small percentage of this total book, perhaps 50% of the power of this book is encapsulated within these pages.



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