My father enjoyed laughing at himself. He also imparted his truisms in humorous ways, sometimes repeatedly, hoping we understood his underlying meaning.
One of his silly antics included the bathroom mirror. He'd walk into the bathroom and let out a yell. "Ack!" he paused, "Phew, it's only me. I almost scared my stuffin' completely on the out."
The awkward sentence, followed his feigned fearful cry, led to ultimate relief that the reflection in the mirror, was really himself.
Over the years, I've remembered Daddy's playful idiosyncrasy, and twenty years later, it holds even greater meaning to me than one father's joyful attempt at self-realization.
When we lose sight of ourselves in our daily walk through life, it's easy to forget who we are. It's only when we stop a moment, and face our fears, that we recognize our innocent and childlike truth.
Our fears show up in avoidance, hesitation, and anxiety. Fear never exists outside of ourselves - it's always a reaction to something we experience or create as real. Completely within us, fears captivate our imagination and stifle our progress to move forward unimpeded into our greater good. When we feed the energy of our fear, we starve our creativity, and more importantly, our spiritual freedom.
Avoidance is one of fear's self-preservation mechanisms. We allow the object of our fear (providing fear is rational and an object to fear actually exists) to control our forward movement, resulting in stagnation of progress or circumvention of growth to steer our boat of self-realization.
Often, with self-fear, we've peeped into the window of our potential, and witnessed a side of ourselves that frightens us. This fear then controls and holds us hostage so strongly that we never again allow that aspect of ourselves to reappear. We avoid situations that potentially bring up our weaknesses or traits, rather than deal with them directly.
Hesitation holds a basis in fear, as well. Thousands of possible "worst case scenarios" creep up at the moment we need to take the leap into our greater good. We second, third and fourth guess our motives, methods and selves until the moment to move into action passes us by, thereby relieving ourselves of making the fearful decision.
Left with excuses and reasons, fear appearing as hesitation justifies our comfort in immobility, ultimately leaving us empty and confused at why life never seems to work out.
Anxiety, troublesome and risky, presents the most measurable facet of fear. Blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, cold sweats and shortness of breath give us tangible and physical results of a worthless emotion.
When it gets right down to it, worry and anxiety pose no real benefit at all to your handling of a situation. In fact, not only are the health risks apparent, but the ingraining of thought patterns into your conscious and sub-conscious pose a greater long term threat.
Worry never accomplished anything and worry, on steroids, turns into anxiety. Rehashing situations, outcomes that have not yet occurred and pondering every possible permutation of a problem, pose no real solution to anything.
Sure, anxiety keeps your mind busy, but so do many positive, loving ideas. You'll love your life a lot more when you realize that no anxiety should keep you awake at 3am.
Losing your stuffin'
Daddy's proverbial "stuffin'" was more than a poetic scatological reference. With an awareness that something real to fear could make him lose who he was inside, he expressed relief when discovering his fears thwarted.
When we face fears, we dread losing something of ourselves - our nature, our spirit, and all the stuff that holds us together.
Our traits, our character, our personality, and more comprise our nature. When fears creep in and threaten our very makeup, sometimes we fear the threat more than the object of fear itself. While the notion of losing the basis of ourselves seems absurd, the urgency fear attracts skews our rational thinking.
Breakdowns often result in a loss of our spirit. Unbridled fear of the unknown, left wild, many times results in destruction. Our spirit - that invisible, intangible force that guides, directs and protects us, also connects all the pieces of ourselves. Not only does spirit offer the interconnectedness of who we are, spirit allows us to recognize ourselves in others, as well.
That invisible stuffin' of life force inside of us, holds us all together. The miracle of fusing bodily systems and mind functions as well as our personality, the very essence that makes a person a person, faces risk of destruction through our fears.
No one really knows what beejeebers are, but we've come to understand they are important things not to lose! Perhaps beejeebers are that precious part of ourselves we can't identify, but can feel in our heart and mind.
The wonderful life-force that beckons us forward on days when fears paralyze our movement, beejeebers gather up the muster of our will, our stalwart drive to achieve and our resolve for a better life. Like the innate flight-or-fight mechanism, our true spirit provides the glue that holds us together.
When we can readjust our irrational and rational fears into conscious awareness of recognizing real or imminent dangers, we express our self-love by preserving that which makes us complete.
No need to eeek! When you realize your fears live inside of you, you empower yourself by recognizing your stuffin' is still intact.
Copyright © 2009 Marlene Buffa
Taking a quiet sideways glance at life, Marlene offers insight through her words from experiences. A student of new-thought teachings, Marlene finds practical spirituality around every corner and seeks wisdom through observation of life's inter-relationships. Sometimes playful, sometimes poignant, always thought-provoking, her writing inspires readers in meaningful ways. Be sure to visit her website at: www.wordsofmind.com