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.
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.
Life isn’t fair. There will be times when we are unable to defend ourselves, speak our truths and be left at the mercy of myopically subjective fools. In these moments, it’s important to continue to live your truth! Do not descend into the realm of ignorance – for the people that willfully betray others will always have to face themselves in the mirror. You, on the other hand, will always have to face your own reflection long after these painful moments wane. Live to be proud of what stares back at you and let that guide your actions. Do not fool yourself into expecting justice from those that confront mirrors in the dark, too afraid to flip the switch and face the face that will be looking back at them in the light.
It’s morbid but true – as soon as we’re born, we’re dying. Death is inevitable. Death or “the end” comes in many forms in life: we face the end of relationships, friendships, marriages, jobs, careers, developmental stages, etc. However, we often overlook how much we outlive in life, and what we outlive we learn from, so long as we choose to keep moving forward. Stagnation is choosing to continue to mourn a death we have outlived.