that something else is more important than fear."
~ Ambrose Redmoon
In "The Mental Equivalent" New Thought Author Emmet Fox writes about an old legend of the Middle Ages in which a prisoner is incarcerated alone in a dungeon for twenty years. Finally, the poor fellow could stand it no longer, and resolved to attack the jailer on his next visit, with the expectation that the jailer would kill him in self-defense, thus ending the prisoner's misery. In preparation, he examined his cell door carefully, and was amazed to discover that it was unlocked! He walked down the corridor, past several guards who ignored him, and made his way home, where he lived happily ever after. As Fox points out, he could have done this any time through those long years if he had known enough, but he did not. He was a captive, not of stone and iron, but of false belief. He was not locked in; he only thought he was. We are all living in some kind of prison, some of us in one kind, some in another; some in a prison of lack, some in a prison of remorse and resentment, some in a prison of blind, unintelligent fear, some in a prison of sickness. But always the prison is in our thought and not in the nature of things ... You are not locked in a prison of circumstances. You are not chained in a dungeon ... turn the handle, walk out, and be free. Build a mental equivalent of freedom ... by thinking of it, having faith in it and acting the part, and the old 'limitation equivalent' will gradually fade out, for the door is unlocked."
It is my deep belief that we can TRAIN ourselves to replace fearful thoughts with constructive ones, as Emmet Fox explains:
"You only can get rid of one thought by substituting another. If a carpenter drives a nail into a wooden wall or into a beam, there it is. Now if he takes a second nail and drives it against the first, the first is driven out and the second one takes the place of the first. This is what happens in your mind when you substitute one image for another."
Following are some specific fear-releasing guidelines:
1. Looking after your emotional self
Take the time to explore your emotions. Work out what exactly you are feeling ─ e.g. anger, grief, frustration, sadness, disappointment, etc. Give expression to your feelings. Don't bottle them up! By releasing your feelings in the following ways you are both validating your emotions and at the same time helping to clear them out of your system. This is important for maintaining emotional, mental, and even physical well-being. There are different ways you might try to give expression to your feelings ─ find something that suits your personality or your mood at the time. Here are some ideas:
- talk/shout out loud to yourself about how you are feeling
- lie on your bed and cry
- call or visit a friend and tell them how you are feeling
- do some journal writing for yourself
- write letters to people (to send or to tear up)
- punch your pillow
- make an appointment with a Spiritual Life Coach to talk about how you are feeling
Practice 'thought stopping.' Every time you catch yourself thinking one of your recurring negative thoughts, say loudly in your head or even out loud "Stop!" If you can pick up on and stop your negative thought early enough, you will be able to avoid many of the bad feelings that would normally follow the thought.
Practice 'translating' your negative thoughts into more realistic, positive ones. One way to do this is to get a large notebook. At the top of each page write a different one of your negative thoughts that you have identified. In red capital letters underneath each thought, write out a positive, but realistic, translation for the thought. Then fill up the rest of the page with a list of evidence to support that positive thought. Be as detailed and specific as you can in your evidence list.
We can exchange our worries over "what will happen to ME or US" for "How can I show more kindness to cashiers at shops and supermarkets; other cars on the highway; wait staff at restaurants ... and strangers on the street who may need a bit of help."
Copyright Chelle Thompson 2016