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.
If you seek inner peace, go the malls at the holidays or the World Cup final. Do not seek it in solitude. It’s easy to be peaceful in peaceful settings. Just as it’s easy to be in a good mood when things are going well. However, if you are able to be in control of your thoughts and emotions amid chaotic energy, and can do so regularly without giving in to the energy you’re surrounded by, you have achieved something special for yourself. Character is measured in how we handle chaos.
Education has a purpose. Equally important when learning all the important facts about history, math, science, literature, music and art, is learning where you stand in relation to everything that has happened, is happening and will happen around you. Educating yourself about what is in your control to change, and learning how priceless the value of your reasoned choice, will be your most powerful allies in learning how to live well.
Assessment is a necessary part of being a teacher, parent, leader, etc. There’s a trick to discovering whether or not your approach is working. Formal and informal assessments work in a classroom, but don’t go over as well in other areas of life. However, if we learn enough about human behavior, we can dangle hunches about how we feel people will react to situations based on the learning environments we’ve nurtured and cultivated. When situations arise, instead of reacting – we can pause to see what happens – pause to see how others will react. It follows more of a martial arts philosophy, to see if our pupils know without knowing.
Three things to know about this approach: 1) Brace for disappointment (as expectation is the root of disappointment). 2) Accept you will be the villain in someone else’s story as the saying goes. The right path is not paved; it’s more akin to a high speed, foggy descent down a mountain on a winding road that’s endless, pothole-filled, there are no railings and your brakes don’t work. 3) Learn to love the ride, because fearing it will only make it worse. Focus on keeping your spirit strong as that the antiseptic for all the scrapes and bruises you’ll endure along the way.
The definition of eke is “managing to support oneself or make a living with difficulty.” For some of us, the addendum to that definition might be: See also, 2019.
Perhaps it’s what comes with aging, but the years as of late have felt to me to be thriving by surviving. Upon reflection, it feels like the past several years would have to go into the loss column. It also feels that this is a universal feeling; the state of the world seems to be racking up losing seasons.
I will be taking a few weeks off from writing to celebrate my family and connecting with what matters most to me. Although I feel the losses, I equally understand the growth that I am not yet fully appreciating and truly realize that waking up in the morning means the day is already won. I just need to get better at appreciating the simplicity and beauty of that gift.
For anyone that has stumbled upon this blog over the past year and has taken the time to read it, thank you! If at any point you happened to take the extra step to like and/or follow, I am truly humbled and thank you!
Happy/Merry and see you in 2020!
Self-preservation takes on the form of our conditioning: Fight/flight or play dead. When it comes to living and leading, fighting for those you selflessly protect is the only true act of self-preservation. Anything else is cowardice!
Furthermore, acceptance is not an act of playing dead – it’s the will to not fight back when up against ignorance. Knowing when a fight is unwinnable and therefore choosing not to engage is a strength, not a weakness.