So we’re all kind of trying to keep ourselves safe right? We want to protect our lives. Naturally. Who doesn’t? But there’s a balance.
I personally have experienced this trying to keep safe thing – go too far. Our lives can get pretty boxed up when it gets this way. To be anxious, essentially is fear of things going wrong. Fear is the driving force behind anxiety. The higher the priority it is for us to stay safe – the less we will stand up to what scares us, and we need to do that – we need to be able to stand up to scary things – we need to be able to stand up for the things that just aren’t right. It takes battling fear to fight the nasty stuff in this world.
So I think we must be weary of how much we are keeping safe from. And ask ourselves regularly when we feel resistance to situations. Where does our fear extend past the normal things? Because it is normal to be afraid to step off a cliff. It is normal to be afraid to step in front of a car. *laughs* That is fear working as it was meant to – keeping us safe from real danger. But what if it starts getting all crazy and kicking in when it’s not real? Boxing us in. I reckon that’s where fear shrinks a lot of the wonder that we are, lessens what we have to offer to the world.
I’ve learned – and am still learning – that this danger that so often looms before me – just isn’t real a lot of the time. Perhaps it’s simply a whisper from a bad experience been – telling me this will be the same. Perhaps it’s something I saw someone else experience and I vowed that I would never let it happen to me. And though this needs to be understood – that for each of us – we all have fears that are a little ridiculous, but the feelings are as though we are in real danger, just like we were indeed about to jump off a cliff! But – the potential danger that looms is merely the negative outcome shouting when there are many other possible and positive outcomes that don’t have a voice. What if you took the focus off potential danger, what would that feel like?
The thing is – peace for today, for now – is always on offer. Peace can’t depend upon the situation turning out as we wish it would. Because as soon as it depends on that – fear will create monsters of the day in and day out of our lives. Peace need not depend on it all working out. I think peace has to depend upon our being safe – now. Like here. Literally right where we sit – snugged up in bed. Or coffee in hand. Or at work. We have to already be safe before the danger arrives. I think fear will diminish smaller and peace will expand big – when we realise peace does not lie beneath the success of a situation, or beneath the positive or negative reactions people give to us. Peace is already here – for a reason. It knows we need it.
It’s about being vulnerable to situations and their unfolding. It’s about being vulnerable to people doing what they may. It’s not in our control. When we shut off because of irrational fears, we shut out life. So lets breathe. And let things unfold. And let peace be the ground we walk upon.
“To love anything is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact – you must give it to noone; not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love at all is to be vulnerable” C.S Lewis.