I was recently talking with someone who is experiencing quite a bit of fear right now. She is on a fixed income and worried about a time when she will lose some independence, her health, and her home, and not be able to afford the care she will need. In response to her fear, she is looking to blame someone and it is very easy these days to fall prey to the fear-mongering and blame that is prevalent in our media and politics. While fear and blame do not change anyone’s situation, they do serve to Connect people, albeit in an unhealthy way. Just as the early cavemen huddled together around the fire for warmth and security, so do we now band together in groups to feel safe against the terrors of the unknown future.
The reason I say it is unhealthy is because in our need to belong to a group that shares our fears, we end up intensifying and heightening the perceived threat. In our attempt to feel in control of our lives, we end up filling our hearts with hate and aggression. In the enlightened words of Theodore Roosevelt, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
As Andrew Sullivan recently wrote in a Newsweek article ( Andrew Sullivan: Christianity in Crisis, Apr 2, 2012, read the article) Jesus advocated giving up control and trying to have power over others. Certainly He modeled this throughout His life. There are many groups today who are feeding our fears and most of them incorporate an espousal of Christianity in their rants, but what they are promoting is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. (I am most knowledgeable about Christianity, having been raised in that faith, and I have also studied some Kabbalah and Buddhism and found them to all be related in their basic philosophies. I plan to read up on the Quran next.)
When we can live by the simple philosophy of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “Love your enemies,” and “Forgive others,” we can step out of fear and into a place of true faith and belief that we will be cared for. In our openness, we will attract others who embrace life simply and lovingly. We will find new groups to which we may belong.
“Do not fear” was one of the first messages I received when I consciously opened myself up to the Universe on that bridge in Phoenicia that I describe in the first pages of Addict America: The Lost Connection. Since that time, whenever I have felt fear about the future – losing my husband, losing my home, losing my income, or losing my health (note how fear is always about loss!) I consciously turn it over to God, open my mind to the Light, and the message is always the same – “Do not fear.” I bring myself back to the moment, this place right here, right now, where I am fine and my fears melt away. Since that time, I have found that I am daily engaging with others who are on this path. In my work, I pass on this message and it resonates with so many people, especially those on the journey of Recovery.
I am Connected.