Today many of us are caught up in the same fearful belief system, which tells us that we live in an unsafe world, there are enemies out there who need punishment, and our path in life is to put ourselves and our families first. Consequently, we worry about the future and try to get as much as we can and hold on to it, all the while believing that there is something external to us that will eventually bring us safety and everlasting happiness.
It’s a belief system:
That accepts wars as inevitable and assumes that a permanent peace is impossible. That doesn’t regard others as our equals. That thinks it’s too bad so many people are starving or are in poverty, but there’s nothing we can really do about it.
Where many shrug their shoulders about the high rate of suicides; homicides; divorce; and physical, spiritual, and psychological abuse. Where we believe that holding on to grievances and unforgiving thoughts will get us what we really want.
However, more and more people – even though they may be financially and professionally successful – are discovering that money and accomplishments haven’t brought them the happiness they thought would automatically result from “succeeding” in the world. And they still find themselves consumed by the fear that no matter how much they accumulate, the world is still a profoundly dangerous and frightening place to live.
Many of us eventually begin to question our purpose in life and feel that there has to be something greater than what we’re experiencing. Sooner or later we ask ourselves: What is the purpose of my life? Am I on the right road or simply plodding along in the same unhappy direction so many others have traveled? Where am I trying to go, and what am I trying to find?
Why do so many of us feel lost, alone, anxious, fearful, and confused? Is it possible that we’ve simply taken the diverted road and followed our egos’ signposts, which have blocked us from the awareness of our own spirituality?
It is our belief that although we may not be consciously aware of it, all of us are on a spiritual journey, even while pursuing other goals, and we’re conflicted and unhappy because we’ve forgotten the essence of love that we are.
The two of us think of our pathway in life as a spiritual journey that’s leading us to a consciousness composed of pure, unconditional, never-ending love. We’re finding our way back to our Source, the Home of Love that we now believe we never really left.
Even though we’re clear about our desire to be on a spiritual path, each day still provides challenges and circumstances that call to those parts of us that want to judge others or ourselves. What’s different now is that we more quickly recognize when we’re lost and the choice we have to return to the path of unconditional love. Once we remember that our purpose is service and helping others, as well as letting go of our judgments and grievances by practicing forgiveness, the path is easier, the direction clearer, and the destination of peace achievable.
This isn’t a book about religion or theology; rather, it’s a collection of stories that demonstrates the daily application of universal spiritual principles, something that we like to call practical spirituality. If the word God bothers you for any reason, you might want to substitute your own term – Infinite Intelligence, Universal Principle, Divine Source, Higher Power, or Natural Connection – or simply think of a Consciousness composed of pure, unconditional, never-ending Love.
Fear as a Way of Life
Fear, and how we deal with it, is one of the most important challenges in life; and today the level of this harmful emotion in the world has increased dramatically. Although individuals may focus their fear differently – dwelling on terrorism, the economy, being alone, losing jobs, or death; or just harboring a general dread that encompasses many areas – as a people, we are afraid.
With the advent of 24-hour news programs, we can tap into an endless stream of pessimism and listen to conflicting arguments about what should be done, which leaves most of us confused and even more frightened. So pervasive is this mind-set that unless we’re aware of the alternative, we live in a continual state of alarm, of which many of us are unaware. To compensate, we fill our lives with numerous activities, thereby overriding our sensitivity to the anxiety.
Because I spent so much of my life being afraid, I know what this state of mind does to an individual. As a child, I was terrified of high places, the ocean, the “bogeyman,” meeting new people, school, and just about anything you could name. I carried this emotion into my adulthood, trying to camouflage it as much as possible, under the assumption that if it didn’t show, it didn’t matter.
Because I believe that we teach what we want to learn, my first book, Love Is Letting Go of Fear, was really my own inner therapy. The fact that it also helped millions of people from diverse cultures made me realize that my house of fear was actually very crowded. I wasn’t alone in needing another way to look at the world and a different method for making decisions. It’s also no accident that my work in Attitudinal Healing dealt with children and adults who were facing the fear of death.
All of us are works in progress, but Diane and I have decided to make our decisions based on love instead of fear as often as we possibly can. But what does this mean? Most spiritual truths are actually quite simple, and so is this one. Fear comes from the ego, which isn’t our real identity. Egos feel alone because they’re cut off from their original Source and from each other. When we experience our oneness with our Source, we also feel it with each other, and our decisions reflect that.
Without exception, the most common underlying fear in every single problem we have is that of separation from someone or something. Think about any fear you have – whether it relates to your family, job, organization, or country. Then ask yourself, What – or who – am I afraid of being separated from? It may be someone’s love, a person whose death is impending, or socioeconomic concerns involving money or work. Inherent in each one is the fear of separation or loss. Just recognizing this allows you to make conscious choices out of love rather than unconscious ones out of fear.
Fear separates us – from each other and from our Source. Isn’t it time to move away from the endless stream of conflicted thoughts and toward the only answer that can transform not only our individual lives, but also the world? Perhaps rather than another ideology, what we need is a spiritual transformation that encompasses everyone and everything. For this to happen, we must turn from fear to love.
Excerpt taken from the book Finding Our Way Home: Heartwarming Stories that Ignite Our Spiritual Core by Gerald Jampolsky, M.D. and Diane Cirincione, Ph.D. It is published by Hay House (February 2008) and available at all bookstores or online at: www.hayhouse.com
It will look like this: Fear Seperates Us – Love Connects Us