I’m fixated on earthly things and just fine with it


I read an article on somebody’s opinion about what causes stress the other day.   Insofar as I understood, the author believes that the problem doesn’t lie in situations or circumstances but in our need to try and control when we’re unsure of an outcome.   Up to that point I agreed.

But then he said that we need to let go of our fear and of our need to hold on to earthly things.

That’s where we diverge.   Why have we got fear if it’s no use to us?   Evolutionarily – good word there – when we don’t use something it disappears.   Well, we do our best – and have for ever and ever – to ignore or suppress our emotions but they don’t go away.   They get stronger and more impactful, more uncomfortable and increasingly difficult to ignore.

I’m more convinced than ever that emotions are symptoms of a need.   Just like the dashboard lights on a car.   When the gas light comes on you don’t try to meditate it away, or force the car to “let go”.  You recognize it’s a symptom, and you do whatever it tells you needs to be done.   If you don’t, the car grinds to a halt.

Same with emotions – fear, anger, sorrow, happiness.   They require something – expression and sometimes an action which is about giving yourself something or getting it from somebody else.  Accurate information, love, protection…    If you do that, the emotion goes away and you don’t have to deliberately “let go”.   It’s just natural.  Moreover your head clears, your heart and soul feel shiny and new and you have a whole lot of energy.

If I stick my finger in a flame it hurts.  The pain tells me get your finger out the flame and fast! I can’t meditate the pain away, I have to listen to it and take my finger out the flame.

Yes?   When something unexpected happens to me, I get scared that there won’t be a solution.    In fact I positively believe there won’t be one.

My fear tells me I need reassurance that I can access protection or whatever I need, that solution exists for me, that god hasn’t forgotten me, that I’m still loved by real people, that I’m not alone.   When I get enough of it – and from somebody I believe and trust – my fear goes away and I stop trying to control.   I let go.   And solution comes towards me.   Letting go of fear?  I think it’s a consequence, not a deliberate action.

I’ll put my head on a block on this.

I think we judge our emotions because we don’t know how to read them, don’t know what they really represent.   They’re scary and exceptionally uncomfortable.   But they don’t have to be.

My debate the other day about whether my current levels of stress are about slipping too far down Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  has cleared up.   The stress is about believing things aren’t going to change.

But some friends of mine gave me some warm clothing, and some wool fabric I can make a warm coat out of.  They also gave me some delicious food which has lasted me three days.   The experience turned my world around.

So it’s a mix.  I’m responsible for my ideas and what I believe, and for taking my fear to somebody who can reassure me.     But I’m also responsible for making sure I eat properly.    When I do both effectively my stress is relieved.

To go back to the author who believed we need to let go of our earthly fixations.   Why are we on earth if being earthly is a bad thing?   I like it.   I love my earthliness, my emotions, my trials and tribulations and my triumphs, my highs and my lows.   I’m not anywhere near ready to give them up.

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7 thoughts on “I’m fixated on earthly things and just fine with it

  1. I agree that negative emotions do serve a purpose but I’d say it might be worth differentiating between types of fear

    The fear we feel when we see a poisonous snake slithering towards us- very functional, giving us the energy we need to run like the dickens.

    The fear a lot of us engage in though, the undifferentiated fear of “what if something bad happens’/ “what will people think”/”what if there isn’t enough” is largely non-functional and personally damaging to us.

    While those are legitimate concerns at certain points, many of us devote time and energy to them completely out of whack with the actual risk involved.This can give us needless stress, damage our immune systems, keep us from living our dreams and trash our quality of life

    At that point, the free floating anxiety type of fear isn’t really helping, just sitting there sucking down your energy like an unwelcome houseguest who just won’t go home….

    So, yep, some negative emotions are helpful- but some should be kicked to the curb 😉

    Catherine
    Foresight

    • Thanks for commenting, Catherine, and welcome to my blog! First of all, I agree that “what-ifs” are counterproductive and destructive, which you’ve very articulately expressed 🙂 and I agree they should be kicked into touch, because they create unnecessary fear.

      But what-ifs aren’t emotions, they’re one of our learned responses to feeling fear in the first place.

      When something comes into my world that’s unexpected and throws me off balance, I only know I’m off balance because I feel – fear, anger, sorrow or happiness. My emotion also tells me what I need to do to be able to feel okay again at an integral core place. It’s my truth. It’s neither positive nor negative, it just is. It can be exceptionally uncomfortable, that’s for sure, but uncomfortable isn’t necessarily bad, alas!

      We can either listen well and respond organically and healthily – reaching out for accurate information, unconditional love, whatever it is we need – or we can use our imaginations to scare ourselves even more – i.e. what ifs.

      I think it’s important to recognize the difference between the incident that triggers the emotion, the emotion itself, and what we do with it.

      So emotions need to be listened to and understood. But some of the ways we respond to our emotions should be kicked to the curb! What-ifs are a nightmare. We’re together on that!

  2. I think we’re basically in agreement, but I get the impression that I haven’t been as clear as I thought…

    You’re saying “what-ifs” aren’t emotions. True, but what I’m really trying to talk about is the kind of free-floating fear/ anxiety (which is an emotion) that ” what-ifs” are a symptom of. This can be due to psychiatric problems, but a lot of people without psych issues have also ended up with the default setting for their world at fear, and this can be a problem for them.

    I’m a psychic with a primarily empathic orientation, so I’m definitely into tuning into my emotions, even the uncomfortable ones, and listening to what they have to tell me. I just think it’s important to distinguish the legitimate ones from the ones based in erzatz fear.(and gosh, my curb is getting really full-must be pick-up day :-)….)

    Catherine
    Foresight

  3. I hear what you’re saying, there’s a difference between a fear that’s been caused by something real and something that’s just in my head, yes? I think it’s important to distinguish between the two, I agree with you there.

    But I think no matter what the origin of the fear, it tells us something important. My erzatz fear tells me what I believe, what I give authority to, which is tremendously important. What-ifs are based on the belief that there’s no solution for me.

    I don’t want to dismiss my fear, because it’s the only thing I have that me to a belief I’m otherwise oblivious to.

    So I go back to that the problem essentially isn’t with my fear, it’s with whatever it indicates – in my head or out of it.

    J

  4. I’d agree that learning what you believe is important. I’d just say that the free-floating fear isn’t actually based in something helpful, but rather that belief that the world’s a scary place. That belief limits and harms one and always being afraid does also

    for instance, we had the terrorist attacks. Legitimately scary,yes.

    But we had some people who became so totally terrified that they let the president take away the rights that this country has treasured and fought for for 200+ years. Fear, out of proportion to the actual events, caused them to sacrifice their freedoms,and that fear didn’t make them more aware. It blinded them to what was actually happening

    That’s the kind of erzatz emotional input that I’m talking about

    hope that makes sense

    Catherine
    Foresight

    • We’ve got a definition glitch here, that’s all! I’m laughing here.

      I agree that the reaction to 9-11 has been neurotic. I agree with everything you say about the effect of that neurotic reaction.

      I just think the problem doesn’t lie in the fear itself, but in what people do with it. Instead of healthily processing it they repress it and act neurotically. That’s the basis for all prejudice. It’s how people behave that causes the problems, not what they feel.

      I also feel fear that is out of proportion to the circumstances. But I deal with it so that I don’t behave neurotically.

      I think we’re just going to knock heads on this!!! Let’s agree to disagree on the definition thing! Thanks for writing in so openly. I hope you do it some more, Catherine!

      Best wishes,
      Jennifer

  5. Pingback: The thrill of getting a response from people « stepping out of history

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