Did you notice that people are hoarding the toilet paper and have plundered the grocery store aisles? Omg. People are crazy right now. Everyone is behaving in their very worst state.
There’s a reason for that. When we are under stress, our fears are triggered. Even the most ‘enlightened’ and well-practiced people slide into default mode. Fear says, “I’m not going to get what I want.” or “I’m going to lose what I have.” It pushes us into self-preservation.
Maybe your self-preservation looks like control. Making sure that your kids are up and doing schoolwork by 10 am. Or perhaps you’re trying to get everyone in your book club to behave the way you think appropriate.
Our self-preservation can take on countless forms, it can also be on a spectrum, it may be a little controlling and a little self-pitying, a little arrogant and a little insecure. It can be both people pleasing and contemptuous. One thing for sure, it’s sly, cunning and absolutely doesn’t want to be called out as self-preservation. Or, dare I say, selfishness.
Fear blocks us. It prevents us from seeing how we can help other people. During these surreal times, we all need to be looking for ways to help each other.
We can’t know where the need is because our compulsive self-preservation consumes us.Tweet
I’m finding myself doing it too. When I slip into default mode I feel discomfort – it’s a knot in my stomach, a heaviness in my chest, a tightening in my throat. I feel indignant, and I think, ” ‘Eff it, I’m done.”
We have to find a way to be rid of this fear. The best way I’ve found is mindful practice called, R.A.I.N.
I first heard about R.A.I.N. in a yoga class (taught by April Berta), then my friend Frannie told me that Tara Branch is credited with incorporating it into meditation and radical self compassion.
Recognize the thoughts, where is it showing up in my body, what am I feeling?
- “This is bullshit. Why can’t they go with the flow?”
Allow the thought or feeling to simply be without judgement. Just pause and let it be.
Shift your perspective of the thought. Is it true?
- “Is this really bullshit? Maybe my flow isn’t the same as theirs.”
What is the thought showing you? What do you need? Give yourself what you need. Better yet, ask your Higher Power (Higher Self, the Universe, God) to give you what you need.
- “I am trying to control others because I feel out of control. I don’t need to be in control. I can trust in God.”
What about other people? How do you deal with their crazies? Grace, baby, grace. In these uncertain times, we need to reach for grace, cut everyone a whole lot of slack. Live and let live. Let it go. Love and love and love some more. It’s nearly impossible to do this though if you’re all wrapped up in your own fear. So let’s promise to R.A.I.N. on our fear so we can practice grace and love for others.
Just for Today
I’m going to R.A.I.N. on my fears. I’m going to practice self-compassion, and then I’m going to extend that compassion to others.
God, help me to trust you. Take away my fear of the unknown and grant me peace.