Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

Updated: Visualize your “Ego” as a ventriloquist Dummy

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Think of how our mind is constructed. One of the most complex organs ever found, capable of tremendous achievement or extreme suffering.

 

One of the parts we invent has no origin or real existence. Yes, it is the “Ego”. Search every part of your mind and an ego can not be found.

 

Yes, we invent this “Ego” for identity, I, me, mine! Identity is its purpose. Nothing more.

 

Think of your “Ego” as a ventriloquist dummy. We give that damn puppet power and life, not command of our being.

 

That dummy runs a good part of our life unfortunately.

 

The Dummy is the one who feels resentment, judges constantly, and feels unworthy. The “Ego” is never equal to another “Ego”. He/She judges itself superior or inferior to all “Ego’s” it encounters.

 

Here in lies the rub, we never feel complete when the “Ego” is in control.

 

That means happiness is impossible.

 

One day I was having a conversation with a friend and he said something upsetting. My response to him was, my “Ego” is pissed at you.

 

Finally I had isolated my “Ego’s” needs and emotion in a real encounter. I could see “I” disagreed with my “Ego”. I had a choice for the first time.

 

Just because my “Ego” was pissed meant nothing unless I agreed.

 

Our “Ego” covets total control. This leads to suffering and loss.

 

Is your dummy controlling your life?

 

The “Ego” is dormant during meditation, also the time when our happy emotions, contained in the left prefrontal cortex light up.
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Surrender: a great tool for healing, wellbeing (Happiness)

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Healing was incremental for me, each plateau reached through concerted action over months. Nothing came easy or quick.


Complex PTSD from a childhood does not heal miraculously, quickly or easily. The mind was not fully developed when trauma entered its world. Hard to tell what is normal and what is the aftermath of abuse.


Aerobic exercise, therapy, reading, meditating, practicing acceptance, applying mindfulness and persistence each brought benefits for me. Sometimes all hope seemed lost but something inside refused to give up.


This trait is very important. Lots of setbacks, even perceived losses on this journey. That inner guide can be our savior in our low moments.


Meditating and mindfulness carved out a small secure space for me to survive. This space grew incrementally as I healed.


It was like climbing a ladder, each successive rung revealed more of the horizon, more of the path.


Acceptance was difficult, releasing the shame and guilt reached a sticking point. My fear, worry and confusion kept me paralyzed for months.


I still had resistance, actually I was terrified, enforced with cortisol by my fight or flight mechanism exploding. The drugs are real, the storyline is the mirage.


Being vulnerable, that is surrendering completely in the face of my trauma, broke the traffic jam. It was scary not to resist, to be so vulnerable, so defenseless.


With arms outstretched, totally open, I pictured my heart as a butterfly net.


I had found the next step, being vulnerable, surrendering to my fears.

 

This exposed my fears so I could observe them.


Try surrendering the next time you meditate.
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Another look at Worry


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Worry seems to have its own engine, a way of entering our consciousness without an invitation. It seems to be one of the function of our mind, everyone has worried, some incessantly.


When we worry the mind is engaged cognitively in the past and future, it’s speed increases. Awareness of reality, of this present moment, disappears when the mind speeds up.


Fear enters our consciousness with the possible consequences of our worry. Mental confusion makes it difficult to move, to take action, to let go of this created problem (Worry).

 

Worry seems to be a battle between the what if’s in life and living freely.  Worry in a way is a prediction of future doom created inside our doubts and fears.

 

So for me, my first task when confronting worry, is to slow my mind. I slow my breath, try to slow my heart and focus intently below the thoughts and emotions.

 

I know when my mind is racing, trouble is coming.


We always have our practice to slow us down and bring us back to now.


Worry does not exist with a mind that is present, empty and focused on the senses.

 

Worry will still visit but the stay will be shorter.
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My “Ego” is Stealthy, Adolescent and Manipulative!

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Awareness brings my manipulative “Ego” into focus. I believe some of this is hard-wired from my abusive, critical, and violent childhood. My “Ego” has never felt equal to another “Ego” (yours either).

 

The need for approval, for being appreciated, runs deep in my unworthy inner child. That critic, that resentful little voice, tears at my wellbeing.

 

Take this blog,:  I have to admit, I want relevance, approval for my knowledge, my blog.   Yes, having a 100,000 avid followers would stroke my “ego” and brings a feeling of relevance.   I see this as shallow and impermanent but it has power at times.

 

 

Does having more followers equal happiness?   Ask yourself if 90,000 left one day, how would that feel?  The crowd is very fickle and can turn against you.

 

This attachment makes me vulnerable to external forces, a path to suffering and anxiety.

 

Following this unworthy dialogue backwards, it is a perceived need that leads me to suffer. My “Ego” has felt unworthy, not good enough, almost shameful when PTSD is active. My “Ego” feels threatened as an adolescent at times.


When I meditate and examine this dilemma, approval or criticism is external. Also criticism or approval can change outside my influence. My life suffers when I buy into this belief. It is a mirage!


I am aware when my “Ego” feels insulted or damaged. He wants to retaliate against a perceived threat. He thinks retaliation can change my unworthiness.

 

It is such a subconscious, complex mechanism from childhood abuse. Life activates this difficulty from time to time.


I thought healing, emptying my amygdala of all the stored trauma would last forever. Now I know somethings will always be below the surface, capable of bringing that hell back into my life.

 

Knowing approval, respect or criticism has nothing to do with my wellbeing does not quell its massive need to protect itself.


I have learned to be intensely aware of my “Egos” need to be resentful, childish, reactive and destructive.

 

For some of us, a constant vigil of awareness is needed.
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Fear of failure or the thrill of Victory

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Having grown up with a narcissistic caregiver, the fear of failure motivated me.
Actually the fear of failing my father’s demands would be more accurate.

 

Many of the greatest athletes ever were driven by fear of failure.
Success and stardom never diminished that insecurity.

 

Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are perfect examples. One was bombastic, gregarious and happy-go-lucky. The other was shy, boring and very quiet.


One demanded the limelight, lived an excessive life of pleasure with food, alcohol and women.


 

The other had no apparent excess or vices,  playing like a man with average talent. Gehrig was called the iron horse, playing in over 2,000 straight games.  An incredible record that was finally broken by Cal Ripken.

 

One was incorrigible, his parents dropped the Babe off at a catholic orphanage. The other graduated from Columbia university.

 


Babe Ruth was questioned about making more money than the president. He commented he had a better year than the president. Lou Gehrig was a superstar but never felt worthy of that title.

 

A mindful athlete enjoys being in the moment, knowing his self-worth is not connected to external wins and losses.  Not an easy path for most mortals.
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Fear part two: our perception

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The mechanism of fear (fight or flight mechanism) contains no fear inside itself. It is just our defense mechanism, preparing us for a perceived lethal threat.

 

PTSD has temporary access to the switch activating our adrenal stress response (fight or flight). Real danger is never present when my childhood PTSD activates now.

 

Think about that! No real danger can exist when my abuser is dead. He can not hurt me now.

 

The fear created comes from the storyline I add.

 

With my focused breath, I can dissipate the Tunnel Vision, the Auditory Exclusion, the Loss of fine motor skills, the Tai-chi-Psyche, and the increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

What is left?

 

Our trauma thoughts and emotions standing by themselves.

So much easier to live with and heal when our fight or flight mechanism does not scare us.

 

Our defense mechanism is there to help save our life, not make it a living hell.
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A two part post on Fear, the mechanism first!

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Fight or flight mechanism (Adrenal Stress Response)

Freedom From Fear” by Peyton Quinn.

1. “Tunnel Vision: One’s field of vision narrows and tunnels into the perceived threat.

 

2. Auditory Exclusion: The hearing tends to shut off.

 

3. Loss of fine motor skills: Often only gross motor functions are possible under the adrenal state.

 

4. Tai-chi-Psyche: Everything seems to move in slow motion.

 

5. Increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.”
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