Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Trouble Occurs When Fears Collide

I’ve been feeling frustrated, not understanding my own reactions to something that was happening this week. Then I woke up this morning with that thought going through my head—Trouble occurs when fears collide. Suddenly I no longer felt frustrated or upset. I realized the situation that was troubling me was indeed a case where two sets of fears were colliding. I was also able to remember that I don’t need to live a fear based life any longer and that I am consciously choosing not to do so.

But it got me thinking. This is where trouble occurs—when people are afraid. It can be one sided. One person may be afraid and lash out at others. It’s even worse when both people are afraid. Sometimes the other person’s fears are so deep seated that nothing will allay them. Anything you do that triggers that person’s fears will cause the other person to do something that is likely to hurt you. When that is the case, the only safe alternative may be to put distance between yourself and the other person. Understanding this may make it possible to walk away instead of hoping to “fix” the relationship and getting hurt over and over again.

Sometimes a real issue exists that cannot be resolved the way you would like it to be resolved. Sometimes the only thing you can change is your reaction to it and it may be up to you to find another way to let go of your fear.

If we could take away everyone’s fears, I believe this would be a far better world, a world in which no one would ever need to hurt anyone else. In the meantime, we can begin with ourselves and our own fears. Whether or not anyone else in our lives is able to let go of fear, we will improve our own lives and our own level of happiness immeasurably if we choose to replace our fears with faith and hope and love. This doesn’t mean we stop being careful and prudent! It only means that when we catch ourselves reacting to a situation based on fear, we remind ourselves that within us is the ability, the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to cope with anything that may come up. And we really do, each of us, have that ability! Sometimes the only way to discover this, however, is to take that leap of faith and let go of our fears. Not only will we discover we can do things we didn't know we could do, but odds are the quality of our relationships will improve as well.

So I ask you, the next time you find yourself in conflict with someone, to stop and look at what fears may be driving each of you. I say this not for that other person's sake but because I know that it will improve YOUR life if you do so. Whether or not the conflict gets resolved you will be happier and more at peace.

Trouble occurs when fears collide.