Friday, April 6, 2012

Balance in Facing Fears

It's good to face your fears.  But it's exhausting.  My fear-facing manifests in migraines, breathlessness, dry-mouth, soar muscles, stiff joints, frozen thoughts, near paralysis.  This physical, mental, and emotional discomfort is a necessary symptom of change.  The changes made through the discomfort will ultimately remove both the temporary discomfort and the need to avoid the thing you have been until now.  You will be free to live fuller by overcoming whatever fear you're facing. 

But I believe balance is essential.  If you constantly face the thing you're afraid of, yes, it gets easier and easier to face, but you also suffer every time.  And often it can take a long time to triumph.  Say you're afraid of walking over bridges, and you walk over a bridge every single day.  Every single day you experience a rush of fear-induced symptoms that linger well after you're off the bridge.  These symptoms then debilitate your ability to feel centered and healthy.  They may interfere with multiple other areas in your life that were fine until now.  Yes, everything gets worse before it gets better.  But I propose walking over the bridge a couple times a week rather than every day, to give yourself gentle time to assimilate the new pattern of thought and action.  So that, during the days you're not walking over the bridge, when you're happily avoiding it, you feel at peace, and this peace then allows you to approach the bridge with greater confidence when you choose to.      

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