Busy is a trap. Busy is an excuse. Busy can also be the antidote of worry. When I sit still with my thoughts, Anxiety takes that opportunity to play the role of fortune teller – proffering scenarios and outcomes with the sole intent of stagnation. This is as much a foolish waste of time as it would be to try to dig up the roots of a fake tree. For me, the difference is discerning between work and effort. Busy work can at times be a welcome distraction for the mind, but once the work stops, the problems return with compounded worry since they were merely placed on hold. Conversely, effort (a show of strength) is a conscious exertion towards an achievement. To busy oneself with effort is to weaken Anxiety’s grip. Effort, though strenuous, doesn’t need to equate to anything momentous – it’s simply productivity in service of betterment in some small way. The ultimate benefit is not allowing the idle mind to irrationally turn its gaze skyward.
There’s a point when external factors can longer be the delay for unfinished projects or goals. These are the moments when you either realize it’s time to be pragmatic (even if that means the completion point may be extended because you have to learn a new skill before you can get it done) or it’s time to realize that the project or goal had no internal value. The third option is that you convince yourself the project or goal is unattainable; perhaps, or is it that your ego feeding itself to keep you stuck in discomfort.
Upon reflection, I realized something about fear. Although fear is not an acronym, I have heard it said before that F.E.A.R. stands for: False Evidence Appearing Real. This does make sense and provides and accurate description of how fear grips our lives. I also noticed how in writing I was able to use fear repeatedly, but had difficulty replacing fear with an simple antonym as a substitute. I ended up using Tranquility, Reason, Intention and Purpose. I noticed that these words, when put together also form an acronym that created a more appropriate replacement for fear: T.R.I.P. (trip).
I used T.R.I.P. almost as a mantra yesterday and found it surprisingly effective.
To revisit yesterday’s post:
If you live in F.E.A.R., your mind lives in F.E.A.R. If your mind lives in F.E.A.R., your thoughts will be rooted in F.E.A.R. If your thoughts are rooted in F.E.A.R., every experience will be colored by F.E.A.R. Now replace F.E.A.R. with T.R.I.P.
If you live in T.R.I.P., your mind lives in T.R.I.P. If your mind lives in T.R.I.P., your thoughts will be rooted in T.R.I.P. If your thoughts are rooted in T.R.I.P., every experience will be colored by T.R.I.P.
It’s nothing mind-blowing, and it doesn’t roll off the tongue, but I found it helped simplify how I pondered some emotional complications.
If you live in fear, your mind lives in fear. If your mind lives in fear, your thoughts will be rooted in fear. If your thoughts are rooted in fear, every experience will be colored by fear. That train of thought follows logic and sadly is a chain of command that is all too common. Now, replace fear with tranquility, intention, reason or purpose and the logic becomes sound.
If you live in tranquility your mind lives in tranquility. If your mind lives in tranquility, your thoughts will be rooted in tranquility. If your thoughts are rooted in tranquility, every experience will be rooted in tranquility.
If you live with reason your mind lives with reason. If your mind lives with reason, your thoughts will be rooted in reason. If your thoughts are rooted in reason, every experience will be rooted in reason.
If you live with intention your mind lives with intention. If your mind lives with intention, your thoughts will be rooted in intention. If your thoughts are rooted in intention, every experience will be rooted in intention.
If you live with purpose your mind lives with purpose. If your mind lives with purpose, your thoughts will be rooted in purpose. If your thoughts are rooted in purpose, every experience will be rooted in purpose.
Finally, if you live in tranquility your mind lives in tranquility. If your mind lives in tranquility, your thoughts will be rooted in reason. If your thoughts are rooted in reason, every experience will be rooted with intention. If every experience is rooted with intention, life has purpose. That’s the chain of command for a better existence. Tranquility, reason, intention and purpose are far superior commanding officers than fear.
Courage never acts alone, for somewhere lurking in its presence is fear. Fear acknowledged and disregarded is the ammunition, with courage over cowardice being the weapon of choice.
It’s always fascinating to see how pronouns change from “I” to “We” when the conversational air shifts towards either acclaim or blame. Observe this accurately and you’ll know the difference between those who are strong enough to stand with someone and be willing to weather the storms more than they will earn praise, and those who are only strong enough to stand with the wind.
As adults, we are truly not afforded any second chances if we are unwilling to take the first steps ourselves.
Pain hurts. Discomfort bothers. Pain is often associated with something being wrong. Whether it be physical pain or emotionally pain, there’s something that caused us to deeply feel the hurt. Discomfort is often the result of situational bother. Emotional discomfort may be felt when need to speak in public, or physical discomfort may come after a workout. On the other side of discomfort lies some form of growth in most cases. On the other side of pain lies some form of joy we are depriving ourselves of because we are hyper-focused on all that’s wrong instead of anything that’s good or right. Pain is attached to fear. We fear things that may cause us pain. We dislike things that may cause us discomfort.
It doesn’t matter what chapter we’re on, it’s most important to know what type of story we’re in. Although we can’t control much of what happens, we do get to determine the genre of the story of our lives, because we get to choose how we live through what happens.
We learn from failing. In order to fail, we have to embrace the idea of bracing for impact. For that’s what affords us the opportunity to get back up and try again. If we choose to spend our time dodging obstacles or avoiding what we fear, we are really choosing to allow our minds and experiences to be stunted. We’ll grow old and gray while our minds remain adolescent and inexperienced. Avoidance is no fountain of youth, it simply creates mountains of ignorance that obstruct an enlightened view.