post chair carrying day 45
Fear is so insidious. It lurks secretly inside motivations I though I knew well.
Tonight I was talking with my husband about obsessions and compulsions. I reflected a bit. "I just pay attention so I don't get compulsive or obsessed." I said when asked what might trigger such behavior in me. Indeed, I HAVE worked very hard through the years to be mindful of former obsessions and compulsive behaviour. My answer reflected confidence that I have it all under control.
Immediately I remembered however, just a couple weeks ago obsessing when my daughter left me a troubling message then didn't return calls or texts for three days. I let myself get worked into a frazzle over that.
Then little and big and every size obsession or compulsion flooded my thoughts. I checked off those I'd not-so successfully kept under control through "mindfulness." And I told my husband to hold on a moment. I searched again for what triggered these behaviors as well as what fueled my "frazzle." In less than a minute, I'd filed through reactions to get to their sources and it wasn't very hard to see that there was a common denomonator. Fear. I quickly searched old stories too. Yep. Fear was always there. Every time I feel obssessive or fall into compulsions, the root can always, always be traced to Fear.
Fear for someone's safety, Fear of loss, Fear of loss of control, Fear of letting someone down, Fear of annihilation,.. that's the map of my "frazzle" obsession when my daughter didn't connect for three days. I wasn't conscious of those Fears at the time of course but upon reflection, I can totally own them. They weren't BIG at the time. Infact the Fears were very well hidden by the busy-ness of my obsession, by the justifications I created for my behavior, by my obsessive behaviour itself.
But I didn't feel good, feeling obsessed; and I think that is a clue to look for. I think I will start paying attention to when a reaction or an action doesn't feel good. A simple thing really. I will pay attention to simply not feeling good in my gut. Then see if I can map that feeling and find where Fear hides in it.
Odd, I just realized Fear is starting to feel a bit like a toxin to me. It is something that doesn't feel good or healthy in my body. Even when Fear is helpful (when there is real danger to avoid for example), it doesn't seem to belong in my body. This is a new experience for me. It's not just intellectualizing the understanding that a person can possibly be free of Fear. It's becoming a physical understanding, a physical experience of desiring to not pollute my body, my being with Fear.
Practice being mindful of when the "not good" feeling comes and of tracing and understanding the root Fears will be good. And then breathing and letting go of the Fears, that will be important as well. Freeing my body of them once found, that will be the challenge. That will be the discipline. That will be the liberation. The healing. The health.