Good morning, everyone ~
We’ve reached the last week of August, and the temps have been so hot-n-humid for such a long time, the days are melting off the calendar! Only four more months remaining in this year! Holy-moly!
And in four months I will begin my 69th year of Life on this Earth … hmmmm … an Earth that has greatly changed in many ways during my lifetime. (Deep breath; heave a heavy sigh.)
It seems that, during my lifetime, there has been something to induce fear in the population. Wars, rumors of wars, riots, raids, global warming, droughts/floods/landslides/sinkholes … . Many years ago, a friend who is no longer here, became lost in a flood of fears. She had chosen to live in a rather remote location, surrounded by Nature, all on her own. I was impressed with her courage and her ability to adapt to challenges. Until one night …
… At almost midnight, she phoned, in a panic. She had come home from working late and the headlights on her truck illuminated a large snake in her driveway. She could not, she said, get out of her vehicle for fear of being bitten. Her remote sanctuary had become a dangerous place. Her solitary, independent lifestyle had transformed into a sinister place of threat to health/well-being.
She never got over that shock. Fear paralyzed her ability to freely walk about her property. From that moment forward, she researched other areas in which to live. She broadened her research to include other states. Everywhere she looked, she discovered dangers/challenges that she did not want to face. And then, the warnings of global warming began making headlines … and she developed ovarian cancer … and she further spiraled into fear until she disappeared.
Fear makes slaves of us all.
Fear is part of our Survival Instincts, which help us survive countless threats to health/well-being/life. When out of control, however, fear can turn us into our own worst enemy.
Yes, we live in uncertain times. Yes, our entire planet is under severe challenges. Yes, our very health/well-being is being threatened by rising cost-of-living and increasing lack of resources. Yes, we are sorely afraid.
Fear increases our pain.
Whether physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual in nature/origin, pain levels increase when Fear becomes our Master. And yet, we cannot flip-the-script and spontaneously break out in song, dance a jig, choose to conquer fear as easily as choosing toast or muffin for breakfast. Fear (like freedom) is something we must work toward with conscious effort and wise actions. Like any freedom, the work/effort are worth the result; yet, the work/effort does not stop once freedom is achieved.
Fear can serve us well as a tool for survival. If we are to enjoy thriving, however, we must continue to work at being fear’s master. Otherwise, we spiral out of control and become fodder for Fear’s relentless hunger. And pain engulfs us; swallows us until there is nothing left of us to be freed.
At the end of the movie “Don’t Look Up”, a group of family/friends gather around the dining table which is loaded with a Thanksgiving-like feast. (BTW, feasting is another survival instinct.) They know that an asteroid is going to annihilate Earth, and instead of spiraling into fear’s overwhelming pain, they consciously choose to feast … not only on good foods but also on their human ability to forgive one another/love one another/be joyful in their final moments of Life.
Love, joy, forgiveness.
It is a choice that comes from the mind-spirit partnership of our being (which is often overshadowed by fear). It is a choice that feels like hard work; yet, even just thinking those three words becomes enough work to create the start of freedom from fear.
No, it won’t cure what ails us. No, it won’t restore our home planet to its state of thriving. No, it won’t erase all of the all-that-challenges/threatens us. No, it won’t protect us from all that surrounds/threatens us. It simply helps move through the “all” with less pain and gain more of our sense of self. It helps us survive with a little more hope/sense of thriving.
No one else can do that kind of work for us. We must do it all on our own … which sometimes feel like being isolated amongst the threats to health/well-being. At such moments, we can spiral down or Look UP/out/beyond the fear that wants to enslave us.
And if that choice is the last bastion of Freedom that humans will ever make, may we make it ~ and in a state of “saying grace”, hands held in a circle, around a table laden with a banquet of gratitude for our ability/willingness to choose Love, Joy, Forgiveness even when all seems lost/doomed.
Are we/is Earth entering the “midnight hour” of existence? If the answer is “yes”, let us choose to thrive in freedom instead of slavery to fear/pain. If the answer is “no”, let us choose thrive as free agents, working toward a state of perpetual thriving. It isn’t the love, joy, forgiveness that is the hard work. Rather, it is the choosing of love, joy, forgiveness in the face of Master Fear that is the hard work worth doing.
Stay hard working. Stay more than just surviving. Stay out of the spiral of fear that would enslave you. Stay free!
Gentle hugs/much love,
REMINDER: Felicia, who is in charge of the Lunch Room, has requested that we NOT enter the room (recently christened the Dharma Room) until 1:15p.m. Que up in the lobby until then. Do not congregate in the hall outside, as this poses a danger should the building have to be quickly evacuated for whatever reason. Thank you!