Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fear And Worry

I am an old man and I’ve had many problems in my life.  Some of them actually happened.
-Mark Twain
Many people worry too much and they worry about things that rarely happen.  Why are we so prone to live in fear?  What do so many of us always expect the worst?  A lot of people believe in what is called “Murphy’s Law”.  Murphy’s Law is the belief that if something bad can happen, it will.  Beyond this, many people are pessimists and they live their lives in a negative and fearful way.  I am generally an optimist, I rarely worry, and I’ve learned that any feeling of fear I have is usually a sign that I am stressed.  I am not a psychologist, although I sometimes play one at work, but I do know that fear originates in the mind.  Feelings of fear are not necessarily based on any reality.  Our minds often create our fears and our suffering.  I believe that most feelings are not based on reality and they are not who we are.  I read a wonderful analogy the other day in a book called “Into The Silent Land” by Martin Laird.  Martin compares our feelings to the weather surrounding a mountain.  We tend to identify with the weather although we are actually the mountain.  The mountain is stable but the weather comes and goes.  More and more I try to ignore many of my feelings or at least try to understand what might have caused them.  Feelings and weather don’t just happen.  Forces of nature and life tend to generate a wide variety of weather and feelings.  Some days I feel pretty happy for no particular reason.  Other days I feel sad for no particular reason.  Maybe it was no more than the sun shining bright one day and the skies being overcast another day.  If it’s a good feeling, I enjoy it.  If it’s a bad feeling, I seek to understand its source.  If nothing else, hang in there because all things pass just like the weather.      

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