April 21

Fear:  Awareness and conscious choice

       Members of a Twelve-Step group meet together for mutual support and to “get current.”  In other words, we bring everyone up to speed on how we’re doing in terms of our recovery.  This takes courage, honesty and a sincere desire to remain sober.  Getting current involves thinking and speaking:  when we think the truth about our addiction, we admit to ourselves how we’re really doing and take ownership of it; when we speak the truth, we confess it to someone else.  And in so doing, we shed a great deal of light on our truth.  This helps to raise every member’s consciousness.

       If you are willing to step out of the “movie” in your head and begin to think and speak the truth, you will learn to differentiate between fantasy and reality.  And in so doing you will learn how to “get current” with yourself and others.  Your thoughts will come under your own scrutiny making you more consciously aware; you’ll be thinking about your thoughts. 

       Your thoughts are pictures on the computer monitor of your mind.  They are your interpretations of the world around you – what’s happening, and what isn’t happening.  You can choose to accept or reject your thoughts.  And in so doing, I can change the way I feel because my feelings flow from my thoughts.

       If you remain aware of your thoughts for what they are – just thoughts – you are given the power of choice.  And choice enables you to decide a better outcome.  Imagined fear will lose its grip as you become more consciously aware of where it’s coming from – your thoughts.  They remain just thoughts.  Your thoughts.  The fear of failure and loss is simply a myth that we believe in.  And because we believe it to be so, we experience it, and feel it, and are convinced it is true. 

       I can liken it to watching a movie on the big screen.  If  the movie is really good, I am somehow transported to another place.  I somehow become Tom Cruise in ‘War of the Worlds’ and I feel his panic and fear.  But I can also look down at the floor, check for more popcorn, look at the person next to me, take a sip of pop.  I can remind myself that it’s just a picture, and my anxiety level is immediately reduced.  (Of course, why would I do this?  I’ve paid good money for this experience!) 

       I have learned over the years to recognize fear for what it is: An illusion played out on the computer monitor in my mind.  And this illusion is a vapor that can disappear as quickly as the morning mist when the reality of the sun appears.  The best way to deal with this illusion is to step back and observe our own thoughts – the movie that plays in the background – and the secret dialogue we have with ourselves all day long.  We can choose to get current on a regular basis by stepping back and consciously observe our thoughts, checking to see if they line up with what’s really going on.

 Tomorrow’s topic – Chaos:  Confused by the Cyclone of Turmoil