Can you picture to yourself a world in which we are able to trust each other, without doubts or hesitations? Hard to imagine such a thing, isn’t it? Yet there are clear, readily available steps we can each take to start to make our personal world much less a place of anxieties, fears and worries and much more a place of peacefulness and enjoyment.
This would be a world where we each grew up having enough so that seeking and striving to accumulate ever more ‘stuff’ was not the goal of our existence. Taken to an ideal situation, this would be a world where:
– We share our material resources so that there would be no reason for another to covet what I have, which would enable me and them to be at peace when I leave my home and car unlocked, and walk any street in the darkest night without fear, and visit any part of this beautiful planet of ours and expect to be welcomed;
– We distribute our food resources so that no one need live in fear of hunger or starvation;
– We make health resources available, so that no one need live in fear of having their injuries or illnesses untreated, or their basic needs compromised because of bankruptcy from catastrophic medical costs;
– We make counseling resources available, teaching self-treatment methods so that everyone has the tools and skills to de-stress, freeing themselves of anxieties, hurts, pains, fears and worries;
– We respect and nurture everyone’s right to their beliefs and religious practices, so long as these are respectful of others’ rights in these regards.
Trust is so unfamiliar to us that you are probably asking yourself whether it is going to be worth your reading this article any further if I continued here with that theme. So let’s consider the more familiar opposite situation.
Many of us have little awareness of the levels of fears that we live with. We are constantly bombarded with fear-generating information, a lot of it deliberately designed for that very purpose. Fear and anxieties create a readiness for fear-reductions that are suggested in the promotions that people are wanting us to buy into. With a fear-raising opening to their ads, they get a better response to what they are wanting us to accept. Politicians are notorious for using this tactic. Bush & Co. are prime examples of such manipulations – even convincing a nation to send its children to war that way, on utterly false pretenses.
Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind…
And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so.
Recently, our levels of real fears have been escalating, with the growing crises of global financial collapse, rising unemployment, potential threats of the escalation of wars to nuclear confrontations, and global heating – to mention only a few of the major ones. We are anxious so much of the time that our anxieties fade into the background of our awareness, having become a regular part of our lives. Anxieties and fears are simply substrates of our modern Western existence.
These days, our anxieties are becoming more serious. Much of our anxiety has to do with our personal survival – now highlighted in the context of questions of survival of every living thing on our planet if we do not attend immediately to carbon emissions that are threatening extinction with global heating.
Converting anxieties, fears and worries into manageable concerns
What is the difference between a worry and a concern?
– A concern is the focus and attention we bring to a problem, analyzing its component parts and assessing how best to deal with it.
– A worry is a concern that is running amok. It is an anxiety or fear that we will not be able to deal competently with the concern. Give free reign, this can escalate to anxieties that we will never be free of the fears; or fears that we won’t be able to cope with the anxieties, much less with the concerns.
This is like the difference between addressing issues in the manner of the archetypal movies worrier, Woody Allen, vs. addressing them like the archetypally calm and logical Mr. Spock from Star Trek would do. If you are not familiar with these actors, perhaps you might be familiar with the differences between how Eyore might respond (“Oh, me! Oh, my! This is terrible!”) vs. how Christopher Robin would (“So, Pooh, what shall we do now to fix this?”).
When we worry, we are to a large extent spinning our wheels. When we address a problem through concern, we are putting our energies towards assessing and resolving the relevant issues. When we worry, we are often beating up on ourselves, blaming ourselves for not doing well enough, or not being capable enough, or bemoaning the likelihood that we will not succeed. When we come from a place of appropriate concern, we simply get on with it and do the best we can, knowing that there is a chance we may or may not succeed. We accept that if we fail we will be better prepared next time, having learned good lessons from our partial successes or failures.
So how do we let go of anxieties, fears and worries?
WHEE: Whole Health – Easily and Effectively is a wonderful self-treatment stress reduction tool for converting any negativity into positivity. (Interesting comment on our society that we don’t commonly use the opposite of ‘negativity’!) By tapping on the right and left sides of the body while reciting an affirmation about whatever we wish to release, any negativity can be lessened and usually eliminated.
Like many others today, my financial situation has changed with the progressing collapse of the world financial systems. There are many uncertainties in my life due to my having retired from the security of my salaried work as a psychiatrist in the US, moving to Canada, and transitioning to a career in writing, lecturing and offering workshops to teach WHEE. You can imagine that at times my stress levels have been quite high!
WHEE has been an enormous help in dealing with all of these. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve recited, “Even though I’m really worried about [having to live on my limited retirement savings/ dealing with challenges in building my new career as an author, radio and TV presenter/ being on a steep learning curve in promoting my books and presentations], I still love and accept myself, wholly and completely.” And with a regularity that has gradually shifted my surprise into confidence in WHEE, even my most serious worries have shifted into manageable concerns.
To my further surprise, I am finding that almost every challenge in my present life sits in the same file drawer with buried anxieties, fears and worries from my past – especially from childhood. So new challenges become invitations and opportunities to empty the old filing cabinets, emotional garbage cans, and the deep, dark caverns of my unconscious mind where fears and hurts from early childhood were buried. WHEE works amazingly quickly and deeply on these issues that have been buried for many decades.
Even more, WHEE has given me the confidence that any challenge is only that: an issue that needs addressing with appropriate concern. And with repeated practice, it gets easier and easier.
So my personal answer is, “Yes, I can live in trust that I will do my best in dealing with whatever stresses and challenges come my way. I trust that whenever I feel anxious, afraid or worried, I will be able to transform these negatives into positives.”
You may say, “Yes, but he’s in a much better situation than I am.” Do a search through Google for Nick Vujicic and see if you don’t experience your worries in a new light.
And what about the suggestion to transform our world into a more trusting place? Well, if each of us contributes our pixel to that new picture, eventually the whole screen will be transformed.
See More by and about Daniel Benor, MD
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