10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
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
Posted by Galen Pearl at 9:32 PM
Labels: fear, Step 3-Control, wait
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Beware of attachment, has been the message to me lately. And it could be applied to your point if I took it a few more steps: beware of an attachment to the idea that I should be a 'fixer' of things.ReplyDelete
But, beware of attachment, for me. Attachment to a person, attachment to an outcome, attachment to what seems like a safe, secure 'now.' I lock on to something when I feel I am under heavy strain.
I am even attached to the idea that I am under heavy strain!
Bobby, I agree that attachment and fear go hand in hand. We are more likely to interfere (and enter fear) when we are attached to an outcome. Loved your last line! Thanks for commenting.Delete
What an excellent thing for me to hear this morning regarding a personal/ family matter. Thank you so much! No "coincidences." :)ReplyDelete
Teresa, I was just talking yesterday with someone about "no coincidences." Glad I was not a coincidence for you this morning! Thanks for commenting.Delete
LOL, yes, I've gotten a message lately. You won't like it! First; I so admire your ability to listen and respond, even when responding means waiting! I am really bad at waiting! The message I'm getting now is GO! It's time. It scares the you-know-what out of me because I don't know HOW I'm going to do what I know I'm going to do. I only know I have to begin!ReplyDelete
But you're right - fear has no place in this.
Lori, I do like it! A message is a message. You are listening to and responding to yours just as I am, or at least I'm trying to. So you GO, my friend. Can't wait to see where you are headed. Thanks for your comment.Delete
This is the perfect message for me to hear before I make another trip to assist my aging parents. In fact, I'm coming to view these long trips as times to simply "be" with them, because they vigorously resist all efforts to "help" them. Thank you for this message today--it will definitely help me stay in a good place emotionally.Delete
Caroline, So Lori's message of "go" and mine of "do not interfere/enter fear" both apply to you today. And we'll add your message of "be." Thanks for commenting.Delete
Galen, being impatient is something I have to be conscious of. Often I understand that I should wait and that there is a time for everything but then my small mind starts fidgeting and pacing up and down until the process causes strain and stress. I guess I have to be aware of the time and the process rather than trying to be impatient. I'm glad that I stopped by here today -- I reckon that your post is the message from the Universe to me.ReplyDelete
Love and light with a liberal sprinkling of joy,
Susan, Waiting is hard for many of us, me included. I'm glad you stopped by, too. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I like the bear reminds me of Hunting - Dog & FalconReplyDelete
Glad you liked the photo. Thanks for stopping by.Delete
Very clever and well written Galen!!!! I like that DO NOT INTER FERE....(enter fear)....I will remember that one for sure!ReplyDelete
It's the ego mind that gets us to interfere when we certainly probably be best waiting and not interfering.....of course, like you said sometimes we must interfere but where are we coming from???!!
It's all about timing - if we allow then we will be pleasantly surprised!
Nancy, Yes, interfering from a place of fear is all about the ego. Thanks for your added reflection and your comment.Delete
Be not afraid.ReplyDelete
Can't lose with that message, Linda! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Hmm, that's a very interesting idea, Galen. I like it. I'm going to have to give that one some more thought.ReplyDelete
The message that I seem to be getting lately is "things are not as real as they appear to be." I find this idea oddly comforting, although it's hard to explain.
It's as if life is kind of a big holographic simulator, designed to teach us specific soul lessons, and we design our own experience to a large degree. So things are still very important, but perhaps not in the literal way that we think they are. I kind of dig that. :)
Jennifer, Well, you would understand the truth of that message more than most! I love your description of the simulator. I will remember that! Thanks for commenting.Delete
What a great concept! I'm afraid the only thing "the universe" is telling me right now is, don't let the dog pick which way to go in the woods.ReplyDelete
CW, Ha--very funny! I wonder what message the universe is sending your dog! Thanks for commenting.Delete
A message of stay close to dear ones. Keep in touch! It's been playing loudly!ReplyDelete
Karen, So glad you are listening to it. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Okay, I have probably got a few messages lately. I was on a roll in August and then I was quickly brought to a screeching stop when I ended up face down on the sidewalk. Projects are on hold and there was a hint prior to this that I should get more concerned with my health. Yes, I was on that road and had taken a few steps to improve it, but with a broken wrist and unable to do the physical stuff, it freed up a lot of time. So I have been on the internet researching alternative home remedies. Even had to find one for my ailing cat that we couldn't bring under control. Cat has been doing great for over a week with something as simple as apple cider vinegar on her neck and paws twice a day. For me it is going to take a little longer...had more decades to mess up my health! But I think I have that headed in the right direction. Funny how things just happen to get you pointed the correct way. But why did it have to be so painful?
Mary, I had a similar wake up call some years ago. It motivated me to make some fundamental changes in my life. Like you, I wished I had listened to the more gentle urges I had received before. Some of us need something big to get our attention! Glad you are mending and thank you for commenting.Delete
This was a very good post for me to read today. I often think about interfering with struggles with my adult children. I usually think it through before I act; but now I think I will be even more aware of if it is worth interfering at all.ReplyDelete
My thought from the universe is to "slow down". I need to stop, relax and get into a good novel.
LeAnn, Yes, our kids are where we are the most vulnerable and therefore most likely to slip into fear...and interfere! Great message to slow down. Enjoy! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Great message Galen. I am with LeAnn when it comes to interferring with my adult children. I use to be very bad at it until they would say, "Mom I don't need you to interfer or try to fix this, I just needed to tell you about it." Now when they tell me something and they say, 'Mom' I know that I am trying to interfer.ReplyDelete
As adult it is amazing what we can learn from them if we listen. Yes, sometimes it is hard to not try to interfer, but it sure makes life easier when we let go of what we can not control. Thanks Galen for the reminder. We all can use them.
Debbie, I know what you mean. I can see my daughter's eyes glaze over when I'm giving her excellent advice! I remember once when I had laryngitis. The kids loved it! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Boy, did I need to read this! I love these words: "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." That's it! You have given me a great explanation for something that I struggle with--when to step in and try to change things, when to accept things as they are and not interfere. Thank you!ReplyDelete
As for messages from the universe, I've been getting them lately about my use of time, about letting go of things that don't matter and pouring my time into the things that do.
Tina, So glad this was helpful. And great message from the universe. Using our time as the precious gift it is, is always a good message. Thanks for your comment.Delete
Oh, I love this! Mine is to "slow down and mind the flow". Again and again and I am finally starting to heed the advice.ReplyDelete
Kaylin, We have to practice a lot sometimes, don't we? Thanks for your comment.Delete
Wonderful post Galen!ReplyDelete
Do not enter fear - My goodness, the light bulb flashed brightly with this one!
I need to work on my reaction when a loved one responds negatively to this type of interference.
Because of MY fear(s) (Of the situation) I become hurt and then I totally shut down and will give "the cold shoulder" to my loved one and be totally silent.
I am interfering and negatively reacting because of my anxiety, my imagination, my fears. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the other person or situation but of my past hurts! I become quite passive aggressive.
Thank you for this insightful post. I'm so glad you are back and writing!
Betty, Thanks for sharing your perspective. It's hard when we see so clearly what someone else should do (ha!), and then they don't listen to us! Thanks for your comment.Delete