“You must realize that fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts that you create. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”
This is an interesting quote that I don't know that I totally agree with. As for me, I believe that feeling fear is not a choice, but acting on that fear is a choice. I spend a lot of my time judging my emotions as “good” or “bad.” For example, I'll decide it's “good” to feel happy and laugh but it's “bad” to feel angry or scared.
These, for me, have been among the most self-defeating thoughts I have ever had. When I criticize myself in this way, I reject myself. When I think in this manner, I decide that some parts of me are “good” and worthy of acknowledgment and some parts are “bad” and do not.
The disconnect for me here is believing that I am what I think, because I used to believe that if I think it, I must do it. My recovery program has shown me that this is not the case. I can think whatever I like so long as do the next right thing. This realization has propelled my recovery forward, drastically.
Today, when I am angry, I do not deny myself of the dignity of feeling my own feelings. Instead, I let myself feel anger, accept myself, and in fact love myself as a person that can feel angry. Doing this allows me that moment (or several moments or days, if need be) of pause to address my own emotional needs through connection with my Higher Power and trust that everything will be OK, no matter what.
Once I do this, I then make a conscious choice as to how to behave as a result. This process allows me to realize that I am not my feelings but my feelings are a part of me. That is, I do not need to be controlled by my emotions when I can accept them for what they are and love those parts of myself. Then I can act in a self-aware and conscious way towards the situation. This is a gift of my recovery program.
A meditation for May 09, 2013.
Light from the musical “Next to Normal”*
*Special thanks to Stacy M. for this song suggestion.