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22 September 2008 @ 07:07 am
Tao of the Day: Insecurity and Fear  
Snagged from junoimelda:

Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that destroys absolutely. I will face my fear. I will allow it to pass over me and through me. When it has passed, I will look to see fear's path. Where it has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
- Dune, Frank Herbert

What words of wisdom comfort you when you are afraid or feeling insecure?

I have a really 1:1 view of insecurity:fear, but maybe that's just how I experience insecurity on the rare occasion that it arises in me. It usually takes the form of "I'm afraid I like you more than you like me" if I'm being insecure for no-good, fallibly-human reasons, and "I don't think I can trust you" if there is an external logic for it, which is another way of saying "I'm afraid you're going to betray me again". I think it was in The Couple's Tao Te Ching that I found a phrase I agree with: Fear births jealousy.

Is it possible that all insecurity is born of external logic and blaming random human emotion is a cop-out?

I'm generally not insecure, fearful or jealous - it's something that I'm really grateful I don't have to struggle with very often. But this morning as I innocently grabbed this quote for the Tao of the Day, it got me to thinking.

The external logic might be "my ex betrayed me" that makes us insecure, and that's a problem exclusive to us and our Growth Opportunity™ exes. Mistrusting someone because someone else was distrustful is learning the wrong lesson - the lesson to learn is not to trust the person who betrayed us. There might even be a more subtle lesson to learn - a pattern we're drawn to that gives us trouble, like forming relationships with alcoholics and expecting things to get better without the alcoholic seeking treatment (I believe in pop psychology, this is called trying to rewrite the end of the story). Yet, our survival instinct is to recoil from that which hurts us, and I remember being really head noisy in my 20s because my instinct wasn't to stop trusting a specific person but rather the entire corpus of people.

Thankfully, I took some risks, and the people in my life have proven trustful and true far more often than not. Somewhere along the way I learned that trusting people until they prove otherwise creates a far better environment for creating and maintaining healthy relationships with people.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: "Take to the Sky" - Tori Amos
erischilderischild on September 22nd, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
As much as I hate to show my almost unforgivably nerdy petticoats, I've actually used the Bene Gesserit litany against fear on more than one occasion. I remember that Dune was my favorite film when I was 7, and I read the books over and over. I don't think it's so much a magical incantation as an anchor and a focal point that brings about a certain mindset. I doubt it would have the same effect on someone who just now read the story for the first time, but I have a history and it seems to ground me enough to get my shit together.

I also have this weird thing about dealing with pain and stress. Some people tell you to visualize a calm beach or some other happy place. That seems to put me more at odds with what's happening. One time I was getting my teeth worked on and the pain meds had worn off but they didn't want to give me more because I'd already had a bucket of Novocaine and they were almost done. The cold in my mouth from the water was the worst part. So, I imagined that I was in freezing water surrounded by sharks, and by creating a situation that was more intense to focus on, I was able to forget about the drill in my tooth.

It's kind of like when I have a migraine and I still have to drive home, I pump the psy-trance, because if the throbbing is matched by an outside source it's more managable. Maybe it's something about flooding my brain with input, maybe I'm just weird.

In general when things are hard, especially when things are hard I try to think "What's the lesson? The Universe wouldn't be trying to get my attention so dramatically if it wasn't trying to teach me something I'd signed up to learn." It's not always a grand revelation, sometimes the lesson is that we can't fix everything. But, when things start to feel like they're really fuxored up, I usually get a subtle sign that I'm on the right track.