Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Do Not Enter Fear
Don’t push the river; it flows by itself. ~Fritz Perls
Do you ever feel like the universe is sending you a message? Like everywhere you turn you are running into the same words, or image, or experience?
For me lately, the message has been clear: Do not interfere.
This is a repeated theme in A Course in Miracles, in those exact words. I’ve also run across the same message in various wisdom teachings like the Bible, the Tao Te Ching, writings by Christian mystics, the Bhagavad-gita, and more.
The connection to my word of the year – Wait – seems obvious.
Okay, Universe, I hear you!
But it’s not that easy, is it? Even when we know that interfering is not the best course of action, we still feel compelled to do it. We rationalize it in all kinds of ways. Oh, I’m just helping things along. It’s for his own good. If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. I’m only trying to keep this from getting worse. I’m being a good friend [parent, spouse, coworker, child]. I’m sure I’ve used all of these reasons at one time or another. I still do!
But isn’t it true that sometimes we do need to act, sometimes on someone else’s behalf? Sure. So how do I tell the difference between interfering and acting appropriately? When is it, using the term from Buddhism, “right action”?
The answer is in the words: Do not interfere. If you say it out loud, it sounds like “Do not enter fear.” Do not interfere. Do not enter fear. Oohhhh.
If I act because I am anxious, because I am uncomfortable, because I want to escape my agitation, because I am spinning out dire scenarios, because I want, as the airline commercial says, to get away, then my actions are really about me, about my fear and my desire to feel safe. I am entering fear and I am interfering.
In contrast, when I stay centered and not reactive to fear, I’m more likely to respond to a situation appropriately rather than trying to control something, or someone, I can’t control. That might mean acting or not acting, but in either case, I am not interfering.
So “do not interfere” is my current message from the universe. What about you? Have you gotten a message lately?
There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under Heaven. ~Ecclesiastes 3:1
related posts: Letting Go; The Things I Cannot Change