I Used to be Scared all the Time and Then…
What tabs are open in your mind right now?
You know, like on your computer, all the files and programs that are open. It can get pretty cluttered in your mind, just like a computer screen with multiple tabs open. And of course the intention behind having everything open is to be more effective, without taking into account the amount of energy that is leaking by having everything on and open.
My mind was cluttered with 3 main things, of which multiple other files and programs would mutate from.
- What did people think about me?
- How am I doing?
- Will I be prepared enough for the challenges in the future?
To put it simply, I was scared. All. The. Time.
Literally, all the time. I am writing about this because I think we all are scared a lot of the time.
Because we seek validation from outside of ourselves to feel good about who we are on the inside. We don’t even know we are doing this 80% of the time. I certainly did not. I constantly had files open. Multiple programs were always open. The main ones sounded a lot like this:
- Replaying past conversations or events where I would try on different scenes or scripts, followed by multiple mental rehearsals of how each idea would go. All of which were irrelevant because the event had long past, and yet for some reason much of my present mental focus would still replay past events almost in an attempt to prepare for the next time. And if that next time came, I would rarely remember the clever mental rehearsals and be stuck running the same loop and replaying in my mind to prepare for the next thing. I assumed humans were supposed to be of higher intelligence than hamsters, but sometimes I am not sure.
– The next program is similar to the first, but in reverse. I would worry about future events that had yet to happen. Let’s look at a simple example. In many cases, I was stressed because I was going to be late. I would blame everything else, traffic, other people talking to me, spilling my breakfast on my clothing then having to change, the weather, my cat, whatever got in my way…rarely taking responsibility to leave earlier or leave space for the normal hiccups of life. It was almost like I was addicted to the rush. In my mind, I would see me arriving late in my mind, and then rehearsing all the ways I would explain or defend myself. All that time getting to work, I would not really be there. All that time between getting somewhere or getting something done was ultimately lost. I was barely present to my life.
- This final one, was the worst. I had an overarching fear that I was running out of time, and would not fulfill my purpose on the planet. A heavy, soul-level pang in my stomach felt like I was always late or behind. This fear played all the time in the background and usually only made its way to surface consciousness when I was alone and in silence. I made sure to stay busy to avoid this uncomfortable feeling. Right before falling asleep and waking up were often the worst times because my mind would flood with these cluttered files and programs whenever there was a spare moment.
Life began to put little breadcrumbs of nudges or insights in the form of books, movies, people, mentors, or just life itself.
I started to question the open, noisy files and programs in my head, and assess whether they needed to be open all the time to stay safe and prepared, or was that simply something my Mom, Aunt and Nana did that I learned and never thought twice about?
After doing extensive training in psychotherapy and spirituality I realized we have all been taught to stay on edge, always prepared, in a state of low level fear in order to win in life. To avoid pain and seek success we just continue to live that way. Luckily, modern times have many people questioning their overwhelm and stress and seeking a better way of living. I truly believed there had to be a better way of living than that hellish experience of constantly wondering if I am getting “it” right, often not even knowing what “it” was exactly, but knowing I need to get “it” right.
When I type it out it looks crazy, but think about it, where do you do the same thing in your life?
Constantly stressing, obsessing, questioning. Never being truly OK.
What helped me to stop from feeling scared all the time?
There is a space in all of us, in between the thoughts, just like music happens in between the notes. It is such a small distinction between noise and music, the space is the difference. So, why do we tolerate such noise in our minds. What about SPACE?
Our fearful programming fears space, fears the unknown. It does not know there is a higher intelligence, a creative alive force that emerges silently and non-violently from the space in our mind. I call this BEing. Being is the ability to BE and then do. To be present, centered, and grounded while going about daily life. I used to be scared all the time because I relied on only my mind to get me through life. I had no idea about this presence, this centre within me that was smarter than my mind. The presence is similar to the intelligence that beats our hearts and divides cells. We forget about this space within us, because we have become so used to the NOISE of all the open files and programs. We feel like it is all on us, and we have to hold everything together….or ELSE!!! Duh-duh-duh (you know that music that plays in the old movies after a scene of impending doom.)
What if you could close some of the files down? Or re-purpose them to serve your life, rather than bleed out your vitality via overdoing and overexerting.
Perhaps you have never seen your mind this way before, or you never knew that such a space of deep intelligence was possible within you, not matter how noisy your mind is. There is a huge misconception about meditation that we stop our thoughts. That is simply nutty and not possible actually. What meditation does, is allow that presence of who you really are to take the reins back. When we live from only our mind, separate from this presence, we will be scared. Of course we would be scared. Think of your mind like a 10 year old and your Presence is like the adult. It is not the 10 year old’s job to figure everything out, the Adult is the capable one. But often we become adults and don’t catch up to ourselves that we are far more capable than we give ourselves credit. We will never figure it all out, and have it all together. Life is always growing and evolving and we are adaptive creatures meant to constantly grow with life. We are part of life.
The mental, thinky mind was never meant to run our lives, it is there to direct our focus and attention on tasks in front of us.
So, if you feel scared all the time, consider taking up meditation. I have a program called You are the Manual that also trains people on this, but there are many programs and books out there now to help us learn how to BE more, and fear less. For now, consider just breathing a bit more, and being present to your day today, the moments in between, and not fearing so much about the future or regretting the past. The natural state of peace and waves of happiness that emerge from that space are worth it.
You are ok.
You got this.
You are the Manual link: https://jennasmithcoaching.com/you-are-the-manual/