After surviving traumatic situations, we stay stuck in the muck of fears. In a state of anxiety, we get hooked by our own emotions and the emotions of others. We feel as though we cannot move, sometimes not even breathe in the presence of others. The world around us seems alien. We become trapped by fears of what might happen. We dream up situations where we lose friends of years or how we become ill. We might stop driving being so afraid we might get into an accident. We become trapped by our own fears and expectations.
Finding a Way Out
The sensation of being trapped is partly due to being lost. When the thoughts of “I cannot, I’m not good enough, I might…… become overwhelming, then is the time to remember that we all are seekers. The human condition, instead of being a trap, is a resource. The process of being human can free us.
My training as a Buddhist priest and a Chaplain along with certifications in Applied Existential Psychotherapy and in methods of Japanese Psychology led me to integrate spirituality with psychotherapy. My mental health clients and mindfulness students have shown me it is possible to recognize and step away from destructive emotions. It is possible to walk free from neurotic fears.
Although it does not happen in one day. It takes some patience and a bit of practice to live life fully. The practice involves being willing to see with a new view. Only when fears are seen as chains do they bind us. Recognizing fear as just another thought pattern, it is not a trap. With practice, we can walk out into the world despite fears and even with our fears. We can use fear as a reminder to notice and to ask what are we seeing and where are we. Using tools of self-reflection and techniques for embracing the human condition, we discover the freedom to heal and grow.
Carol O’Dowd, MPA, MDIV, MI, RP
Prajna Healing Arts