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Liberation from Fear

From the one and only Mandela, who certainly had plenty to fear in his life.

As I reflect on this quote, one particular fear that I’ve always carried around comes to mind: The fear of judgement from others.

In a recent MBCT session, we were asked to write down a possible stress/depression trigger. I wrote:

“When I feel that others are watching and grading the quality of what I do”. 

What sort of thoughts run through your mind then?

“They can tell I’m acting. They will be able to tell I’m not that good. They’ll be able to tell I’m trying to fake it. They’ll see me for who I really am, with my weaknesses and all. I won’t be liked as much after this.” 

What happens in your body?

“Lightheaded. Heart racing. Adrenaline rush.”

What do you feel like doing (after)?

“Tell a trusted friend about it. Pray. Seek validation from myself or from others. Journal about it. Process. Change environment so that I can get a different perspective on the experience (and I usually do, thankfully).” 

Are there any old habits of thinking or behaviour that might unwittingly keep you stuck in feelings of depression or stress?

“Replaying the scene in my head, over and over again.” 

 

While I was told that I have pretty good coping mechanisms, it doesn’t change the fact that we will still face plenty of scenarios in life that would make us fearful. Slowly, I see how our way of BEING (being mindful, being aware of our old thought habits which may be unhealthy) can affect the way we DO things, and that in turn might have an effect on how we are SEEN. While changing our behaviour to cater to the approval of others is never a good idea, we ourselves would certainly benefit from a better quality of doing, doing from a place of non-fear.

And who wouldn’t benefit from a presence of non-fear?

Protect Your Grass

So, apart from not being tempted by the grass on other sides, and spending effort to cultivate our own grass, we must also remember to protect our grass once we have managed to cultivate a semblance of our own grass.

And that could sometimes mean:
1. Taking time out from social obligations to spend time watering our grass.
2. Trimming our grass when they get too big to be well-maintained (grass can grow really quickly) – quantity over quality.
3. Exchanging grass maintenance tips with others who have succeeded in grooming their own grass.
4. Being sensitive enough to know what our grass needs at different seasons and time periods
5. Realising that every grass responds differently to the environment, and every grass owner’s style of different. Learn from others (point3), but don’t compare.
6. Trusting that our grass actually already knows what they want, and sometimes all is needed is for us to listen to them (go back to point 4)

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