How I Flipped the Script on My Fear

Here’s the thing about fear, it’s insidious.  It’s a weed that if not managed can quickly overrule your mind.  I know this, and because I know this I actively combat it.  In my life I have occasionally allowed fear to make my decisions for me, but more often I force myself to do what I think is right/good/smart despite my fear.  In fact, I’ve willfully taken on tasks that caused my knees to shake and heart to race nearly to the point of inducing a panic attack.  Even with this nature, with my guard up and a desire to fuel the world with good vibes and clarity, fear snuck up on me.

On Friday July 22nd, I watch the news as police hunted down a gunman in Munich, Germany.  He had initiated a shooting spree in a popular shopping center during a busy time of day.  This happened not long after chaotic events in France and Turkey.  After watching this heavy news and feeling shaken because I have family who live in Bavaria, I decided to go for a walk. 

As I walked my mind kept coming back to a vision of me in Bavaria, of my children and me shopping in that center, and of the gunman or some other depraved person attacking us.  I felt the anger and fear rise in me, and because I practice reflection I decided to change my mind.  I opted to think about locations in Bavaria that I’ve visited and which I have fond memories of and imagined showing my children these places. 

It didn’t take long before my imagination turned ugly as a Syrian refugee or some other Middle Eastern looking person intruded to cause me and my children harm.  Before I knew it I imagined fighting off our assailant and going to extreme violence to save myself and my kids.  Mama bear was out in full effect and it was vicious.  Then the observer in me again noticed that my mood was dark, my muscles were tense and my fists clenched with anger – even while the sun shined and I strolled around my beautiful neighborhood.

I stopped dead in my tracks and realized that I was becoming exactly what terrorists want me to be.  I fearful person, creating an us-vs-them vision, fueled with dark emotion.  According to the law of attraction, any idea held for an extended time, when powered by emotion, is the formula for creating a changed reality.  I believe this, and yet I still spent a fair amount of effort imaging a terrible circumstance.

Why?  There are many reasons and the list can range from personal, to media, to political perspectives.  Really none of them matter.  What does matter, is my willful refusal to be afraid.  The flat out decision to live your life according to your heart and calling.  This is my choice and I encourage each of you to make the same. 

I want to live in a world filled with laughter, joy, fraternity, humility, and truth.  These are the values that represent love and which I desire to shape my character.  So to stamp out fear that has snuck into my mind, here is what I did.

Since you can only remove the darkness by adding light, I decided to reframe my daydream.  I went back to those beautiful Bavarian locations and saw the same person who previously attacked.  Now I imagined him with his own family and looking in need.  I opted for compassion and approached his wife asking if she was hungry.  She affirmed that she was, so in my mind’s eye I collected my children and purchased sandwiches for everyone.  Then after a filling meal on a sunny hot day, we purchased gelatos for everyone as well.  The vision ended with smiles.

In the here and now, my walk ended with me feeling at peace.  This is how I flip the script on fear and terrorism.  I refuse to be afraid and I whenever it raises in me again, I will imagine myself in a compassionate space…with gelato. 

3 thoughts on “How I Flipped the Script on My Fear

  1. Thank you for this amazing article! It’s funny because I’ve heard this from two famous speakers recently, and now you (maybe you are a famous speaker too! If not, you should be.) Anyway, I have found that this re-framing technique works in all areas of life, from making money to losing weight, finding the ideal job, or anything your heart desires. And as you mention, it’s a great way to remove fear 🙂

    Like

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