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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

The Present Moment - Exiler of Fear.

I am a fear based person. This morning I woke up completely terrified for a client. That is irrational. I woke up thinking of deposition and trial strategies. I did this because I am afraid for her. It is a long story but it's an ugly divorce case - I can totally see this case playing out in a lifetime movie channel kind of way - she was afraid of him, the divorce got ugly then she got dead. I seriously woke up to that this morning. All of the above was loosely based on fact...something that fear needs in order to run my life: a fundamental disconnected between reality, the present moment and my head.

I have historically been afraid of pretty much everything, including admitting that I am afraid, in need of help or in pain. These fears have driven my life, altered its course, kindled and ruined relationships and, finally, brought me to my knees.

Fear mascarades as so many things. So many things I believe to be "true" are in fact just fancy coverings for plain, old fear. Fear so often drives my life: I don’t call someone because I am afraid of what they are going to say; I don’t do something out of fear about the other person’s reaction. I change the course of my life because of a story that my head tells me about some future unknowable event.

Fear is not all bad though. Fear keeps me in check in many good ways. It keeps me from overspending, overeating, drinking, speeding, etc. Fear has its place - it keeps me walking the line when my head tells me that I can do something else. Fear keeps me from walking down a dark alley at night alone - fear helps me to see that this is not a good idea.

However, fear is pretty dependent on my ability to forward or backward think...I am almost never afraid in the present. Fear requires thoughts of the past and future. It does not give me a leg up on whatever may transpire in an hour or day or week. It ruins the present moment and makes me dread what is coming. Fearing something ruins everything because by fearing that thing, you are allowing whatever you fear to control you now as if it is already happening.

So what to do? I am working on living each moment in awe that I am having moments at all. In this moment all is well. In those moments where I am not well, I will not realize I am not well until it is over, I experience unwellness in retrospect or by projection. Unwellness is not contemporaneous. It is something that I can see looking forward or backward. Unwell does not occur in the present. Right now I am ok. Right now I am ok. Right now I am ok. I can come up with a whole list of things that I cannot be ok or well with in the future and past. But right now I am ok. I am well. I am safe. I am fine. I cannot ever think of a time when I checked in with myself in the present and not been ok. Seriously ok. Have I always had everything I have wanted. No. Have I always had all that I needed? Yes. Have I led a pain free life? No. But the pain only exists in my past and future. My present is relatively pain free because when I occupy the entire present moment - I am always ok even if the circumstances surrounding that present moment suck.

The present seems to be where it is at. It is a place that magically expels fear. Because I can always say and this moment all is well and that pretty much always kicks fear's ass.

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