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Monday, January 11, 2010
Four Letter Thief
You pull up into your driveway, open the front door, hang up your coat and notice right away something doesn't feel right.
You hear unfamiliar sounds.
Footsteps. Rustling about.
There is an intruder.
Shocked, you scream, grab a blunt instrument and chase your unwanted guest out the back way.
Still shaking, you pick up the phone and call the cops.
Then you start looking around to see what's missing.
If that event were to really happen, you would be deeply disturbed to the point of taking dramatic action such as investing in a new home security system or talking to your neighbours about watching each others property. But, few will raise a finger or make an effort to confront the most sinister daily thief of them all.
A culprit routinely pick pocketing future dreams, hopes and aspirations.
A petty criminal that will steal your potential and rob you of your present.
If you let him.
This four letter thief will rip you off and never give two shits about leaving you to pick up the pieces.
He is your only true opponent in the game you play at work and home each day.
A clever, treacherous adversary, that knows no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy.
He will lunge for your weakest spot and find it with unerring ease. He roots around in your mind - always. You've seen it happen. One moment you are feeling calm, in control, happy. Then, disguised in the garb of doubt and anxiety, he begins to creep in, rummaging through your deepest thoughts.
Once the bastard called F.E.A.R. has broken in, your allies called Faith, Hope and Trust have bolted from the scene of this crime.
And now, you're done.
Sabotaged your dream by defeating yourself.
But, here is the strangest thing.
F.E.A.R. ain't even real. Only exists in the future. Usually based on some nonsense from the past. That's why a 4-year old who heard the message, "Don't talk to strangers" becomes paralyzed as a 34-year old meeting new people at a business networking event or knocking on doors to promote a service. It also explains how a teenaged boy once rejected by a pretty girl will stammer and fumble his way along while approaching a beautiful woman when he in his forties.
F.E.A.R. is designed to immobilize and keep you stuck to where you are right now, however, you will only ever rise to the level of your greatest fear. Knowing this, you should take comfort in the scientific fact you were only born with two fears - the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. From the time we were infants, every other F.E.A.R. has been a learned and conditioned response, that fall into six major categories:
1. F.E.A.R. of Failure / Making a Mistake
2. F.E.A.R. of Success / Competition
3. F.E.A.R. of Rejection / Loss of Love
4. F.E.A.R. of Death / Poor Health
5. F.E.A.R. of Poverty / Doing Without
6. F.E.A.R. of What Others Might Think*
But, even the F.E.A.R. of death (or public speaking) is nothing compared to the F.E.A.R. of not having lived authentically and fully. Is it possible the root of all F.E.A.R. is when we feel forced to deny and supress who we really are?
The great neutralizer in this self-told story is Courage.
Courage is the price life demands for granting peace. The soul that knows it, knows release.
Marianne and Steven know a thing or two about Courage.
In 1989, Marianne founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily. By December 2006, a NEWSWEEK magazine poll named Marianne as one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. She has since been a popular guest on TV programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live and Good Morning America and has published nine books, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers.
In 1969, Steven wrote a song but had no idea who he would record it with. A year later, the former high school dropout bumped into Joe and Tom at a rock show in New Hampshire and within another year, they were sharing a crammed one-bedroom apartment in Boston with Brad and Joey. It wasn't until 1973 that the song Steven wrote was finally recorded and hit the airwaves.
At different points in their respective journey's Marianne and Steven had to come face to face with F.E.A.R. and see it for what it really is:
Never forget, F.E.A.R. does NOT exist in the present.
Anxiety, panic or worry only breaks in when we start dwelling on what might or could happen. Staying in the present eliminates F.E.A.R. and allows you to feel liberated to the point where you can dream until your dreams come true.
In her first book, Marianne Williamson composed a poem often misattributed to Nelson Mandela; a poem that works even better when you read it with Steven Tyler's song.
Click the video, scroll down and at the same time, read the poem.
Out loud, if you dare.
And make this the week to protect what you dream about most.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, A Return to Love
*The F.E.A.R. of "What Others Might Think" makes for a lot of boring ads and keeps people petrified at the thought of public speaking.