Tag Archives: Fear

Standing Alone

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How it Used to Be

How it Used to Be

Once again, I’m feeling as if what used to be, no longer is. What is going on with our society? How is it that yet another 19 year old boy has access to an arsenal of weapons and explosives and can walk into a public shopping mall and open fire?

What are we doing to each other? Why are so many people filled with such a will of hatefulness and destruction?

Am I standing alone wanting desperately to know who this child was…where his mother was….his father….his educators…anybody? How could he be this lost, this far removed from anything and anyone, to be able to walk into a store and shoot and kill a beautiful young mother of a two-year old baby, just a baby herself at the age of 21?

Years ago, I was in Columbia Maryland. It was a beautiful city, about half way between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. Friends of mine chose to start their lives there as a newly married couple at the time, because of how promising a location it was. And now again, there is yet another case of senseless murders – TOTALLY senseless.

We are losing a major battle with humanity. We are raising more and more children who do not recognize the value of life, not that of others, nor of their own. I ask again…what is happening here? Our public places, our schools, our malls…they are turning into battlegrounds, into chambers of death!

Is there truly nothing for us to do other than watch it continue to grow?

Grammy Award

Grammy Award

I LOVE music. I sing, play an instrument or two and was raised on music. I think its wonderful that the there are award shows like the Grammy’s in which we celebrate the talent of others and their musical abilities. But I am having a hard time with the huge gap in focus and attention being given to the awards even PRIOR to their being handed out, and the horrific news about yesterday’s mall shooting.

If exposure and publicity is equated to significance and importance, then maybe this is part of the problem. I know it is important to be up on these things, but I truly believe it is at least as important to hear and learn about the lives of people who are senselessly taken in these growing and continuing shootings as it is to know which celebrity will be wearing what gown or what outfit at tonight’s upcoming award show.

I believe it is at least as important to know what, if anything our government officials and protective authorities are working on to prevent future shooting sprees in public places as it is to learn of which celebrity attended what pre-Grammy party and who is celebrating after-parties.

Columbia Maryland Mall Shooting

Columbia Maryland Mall Shooting

It has taken me a long time to get to know myself as well as I do, but I have come to realize that I get angry when I am afraid. And I am becoming more and more afraid of what I see happening all around us. I don’t pretend to have any answers, but I know there is strength in numbers and when people work together, wonderful things happen.

Don’t we need to start doing that before it is too late?
Am I standing alone on this or does anybody out here agree?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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How Mindfulness Works

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Looking Under a  Hood

Looking Under a Hood

Many years ago, I read a book that spoke about how we need to provide ourselves with self-check ups. It was a strange idea, I thought, because I’m with myself all the time, what on earth do I need to check in about?

But I am sure that we can all relate to ‘catching’ ourselves doing certain things – when a moment of sanity hits us smack in the head – and we realize something is going on with us that we had absolutely no conscious awareness of at all.

A great example of that for me, is when I find myself with a piece of candy in my mouth that I just bit down hard into, knowing perfectly well that:
* I certainly wasn’t hungry and didn’t need the extra calories
* The candy was not offered to me
* It will wipe out many positive choices I have made in making healthy food choices and keeping myself more active

And now I know it is time for me to check in under my own hood and see what is really going on.

Most likely, this is what I find when I take a few minutes to still myself and give myself a health dose of self-honesty.

• Something is troubling me.
I may not know what it is immediately, and it may take an extra bit of courage, but something is upsetting me usually on a pretty strong and deep level. I need to be still with myself and let it surface and it usually does.

Fear

Fear

For me, almost all the time, fear is involved, and the fear can be more of an anxiety type fear than a specific fear, in fact, that is usually what I find until I sit still for a while and center things. The fear has not been given the chance to latch onto anything specific because I’ve been ignoring it, so it sort of latches itself all over and forms a sense of very general anxiety, with no real target. EVERYTHING feels pressured and there is a tension right in the pit of my stomach.

For any of you who do mindfulness type work, that is why the focus is on internal body sensations, because when we narrow it down to one area, it becomes more contained and then we can manage it.

Then I begin to miraculously become more aware of how quick and shallow my breathing had become and I now have all the physiological signs I need to realize how totally out of balance I have become.

It is time for me to finish up whatever I’m in the midst of if I can’t just automatically drop it, and give myself 15 minutes of time to refocus myself. It doesn’t cost me by the hour, although if I find it persisting, talking to a friend who really knows me well or even finding a therapist is not a horrible idea.

Mindfulness-Mind-Map

What I need is time to refocus my focus. I concentrate on what is happening inside me rather than outside me, and my breathing becomes more regulated, my heart stops beating as quickly and once again, I regain a feeling of composure and a sense of ‘alrightness’ with me and my world.

THAT is how mindfulness works!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Greatest Fears and Desires

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I once heard a quote that our greatest desire is also our greatest fear.

What do yo think? Universally and personally? Do you agree?

What is your greatest fear? Have you searched inside your heart deep enough to find out?

I hear lots of people saying their greatest fear is loneliness or losing loved ones. I can see how they are huge fears, but they’ve never really resonated with me.

I’ve always thought my greatest fears were along the lines of rejection, judgment, and failure.

But If I go even deeper, I think my greatest fear is not doing what I was meant to do on this earth.

And that is my greatest desire – to do what I was made to do. No matter how scary or hard. No matter how many times I may fail.

Of course, I think there are many things we’re all meant to do, but I hope I don’t miss the key ones.

And I believe the things we’re meant to do are for others because I believe we’re here for others. Sure, there’s other things, but if we don’t do anything for others, what’s the point?

Was that deep enough? Haha!

So, what is your greatest fear and what is your greatest desire? Dig deep. Are they the same thing?

And once you face your greatest fear and desire, what are you going to about them?

Things To Hide: How Honest Are You?

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Is anyone completely honest? Is it even possible for anyone to be that transparent? Or does everyone have, for whatever reason, at least a few things they hide?

It might be because they’re ashamed to share something, whether it’s something they’ve done or something they don’t like about themselves. Or it might be because it’s better for everyone else that they don’t reveal something: they saw something they shouldn’t have or they know something no-one else knows. I’m thinking about things that don’t harm anyone if these things aren’t revealed; so it’s no moral code that’s being broken here. The only thing that’s being broken is the ability of a person to wholeheartedly reveal all of themself to another person.

Of course, none of us can completely share everything with another person due to our brains being encased in our bodies at a ratio of 1:1. No matter how much you share and how well you share it, I will never be able to understand it or experience it the way you do. We have the gift of communication and as relational beings we can relate to each other, but I will never know if what I experience is exactly the same as what you experience, close though it may be. It’s the whole when I see blue you may be seeing purple scenario, and even if we both saw blue, we may be seeing different shades of blue and never know.

Excluding the limitations of the physical design of our bodies and things like time and memory, I wonder if there’s anyone who is known completely by another person. I naturally think of people who are married or who have been with someone for many years. I used to think going out with someone meant they would know everything about you. This terrified me and it was the reason I thought I’d never go out with anyone; not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t think I could share everything with another person. If a prerequisite for going out with someone was you had to tell them everything – as I thought it was – then I was doomed to be alone forever.

I’ve come to realize though, that even marriage doesn’t mean two people will know everything about each other. Sure, they will probably know each other more than any other person, but they’ll always be learning new things about each other. People can go into marriage thinking it will fulfil them because, “At last I will be known completely,” only to realize that’s not how it works. I’m okay with this. I know not to look for fulfilment from another person; that’s too high a pressure to put on someone.

I had a friend tell me, “It’s not like that,” when I told her my fears about having to share everything with a guy if we were to go out. This made me wonder, “Well, what is it like then?” Because as much as I feared having to share everything, I also desperately wanted to. In one way I was relieved that I don’t have to reveal everything, but in another way I was kind of disappointed. I wanted to be known by someone, and now I found out going out with someone and even marrying them wasn’t going to guarantee that. Was there no hope for me to be known?

This wouldn’t be an issue if I was honest with everyone and had nothing to hide. I wouldn’t have this need to be known and this desire to share everything if I was already known. And it is this that brings me back to my original question: is anyone completely honest? Or is it just me who feels like no-one truly knows me?

Maybe it’s okay to not reveal everything. Maybe it’s just a personality thing. Some people are open books; others keep things inside. I’m quiet and introverted so maybe that explains why the thought of sharing everything terrifies me and why I feel like no-one really knows me. This would all be fine except I have a need to be known. Is this something of the human condition that we all simply want to be known? And is this because we were made to be known? I don’t mean that we’re all made to be famous, just that people will know us for who we really are.

I don’t think it’s just a personality thing for me, though, because it’s only certain things I don’t feel I can share: things I’m ashamed of, things I don’t like about myself, my fears and insecurities. Do I have more of these things than other people, or do I just fear sharing them more than other people? I worry about what people will think of me. I worry they’ll think badly of me. I worry they’ll judge me.

But I want to share these things because if I don’t, no-one will ever truly know me. Maybe all the things I want to share don’t need to be shared, but I always thought if someone wanted to really know me, they’d want me to share everything. Maybe other people don’t think people are hiding anything, because they themselves don’t hide anything. I, on the other hand, know I hide things so I assume others hide things too and I want to know them. It matters to me.

I want to know people and I want them to know me.

Complex States At Being

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Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.

I just want to be happyPeople (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.

Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.

cry, baby, cryTo get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.

Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”

Did you see the contradiction?

Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?

Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.

The Girl Who Cried WolfWhat happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.

This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .

“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’

*Image credits (used with permission through CC license)–
“I just want to be happy” by bravelittlebird
“cry, baby, cry” by Barbara Pellizzon
“The Girl Who Cried Wolf” by GaelForce Photography

Bird’s Eye View-Eliminate Energy Thefts!

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first posted on my blog: https://marinazet.wordpress.com/     Thank you Free Psychology-I’m happy to share my ideas!

It’s it the nature of humans: we try to analyze and interpret certain situations and behaviors of other people we interact with every day. This makes perfect sense and is important in order to get an orientation in the world/ system we live in. Besides, our brain loves order and rationality.

Unfortunately, our brain also tends to overinterpret things a lot as we are not purely rational species but are also driven by our emotions and feelings. One of our strongest feelings, for exampel, is anxiety-if we fear losing something, we act more emotionally than rationally. We can easily misinterpret situations in such a state of mind and overlook important aspects. A good example are relationships. Men and women often get stuck in what I call a “toxic relationship”-both are not satisfied with the other partner any longer, even after long discussions (let it be because of a shift of needs or change of personality traits) but decide to stay together and accept the discontentment because of the fear of being alone. The emotion of anxiety hinders our brain to think rationally and assess the situation and possible outcomes of our actions in a realistic way.

Another good example is an unsatisfying job. A completely rational person would see that their Your Fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival | Anonymous ART of Revolutioncurrent job is strictly monotonic, isn’t fulfilling and/or is very stressful and steals valuable time of their life. A completely rational person would not only realize that but also take actions in order to change the situation instead of staying in the same miserbale position for years and years. A person on the other hand who is driven by fear, would stay in that position-probably for the rest of their working life out of pure fear to get unemployed for a longer period of time and lose all their savings. If you fear, you get stuck!

Another fact is that most people have horror scenarios in their head and hate risk. We tend to create worst case scenarios when we encounter risk and change instead of seing the possibilities. That’s because people would rather eliminate the risk of loss rather than keeping the possibility of gain.
Having said this, I belive I found a technique for myself which can be helpful for others, too to overcome the risk of misinterpretation and bad decisions stemming from negative emotions.

I called it the Bird’s Eye View. When you see the whole situation and take a step back from the problem, you see more than when you look very close at it.

1. Ask yourself the question: is this problem relevant right now, is it relevant in a month, a year? If it’s only a short-term problem it doesnt deserve tremendous, time-consuming long-term planning before making a decision.

2. Are you in charge of the problem- can you influence it? Many times we spend hours and hours lamenting about things we can’t change-the weather, our tax bill, the success of our .favorite football team…nevertheless, it doesn’t stop us to wrap our head around it a hundert times. Is it worth your energy? As a business graduate, I would say the alternative costs are simply too high to complain about things you can’t change. Realize and let go ot these energy thefts – knowing that these things aren’t wasting your time and energy is very fulfilling.

3. Be aware of the costs, possibilities and risks! Know the emotions which are involved! When you know which emotions are involved in certain situations you can assess them and see problems from a more realistic way without the cloudy fog of confusing emotions in it. If you know that fear is the prevailing emotion, you can ask yourself-what is the real cost and risk if I initiate the change anyways? What is the wors-case scenario and is it really unchangeable afterwards? Breaking risk down to worse-case scenarios and contrast them with opportunities, often reveal that the main reason for our fear are not the possible bad outcomes but simply the fear of change.

Anticipated fear is oftentimes worse than the manifestation of that fear.