Magic Carpet Ride

“Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s choosing to act with love in spite of the fear”. – Courage to Change

I’ve also heard it said that “courage is fear that’s said it’s prayers”. Both of these statement identify my personal Higher Power, love, as the solution to fear. Simple concept, but not always so easy to practice.

In all these years of recovery I’ve still yet to overcome fear. Even when I’m in a super wonderful life-loving place, and everything appears to be going just swell, my fear seems to be on stand-by, rather than having completely disappeared. And when I question why, fear speaks to me and says “it’s only prudent that I hang close by, something – anything – could go wrong at any moment. Best if I’m here for you”.

Money. Relationships. Work. Health. Depression. Resentment. Lack of control. Unmet expectations. So many things to fear. So much misery on that side of the mind.

Although I haven’t figured out how to eradicate fear, nor do I necessarily think that would be a good thing (car swerving towards me, dog barking off a leash, etc), I have figured out how best to handle it when it comes up. Here’s my solution.

First, I’ve become VERY good at recognizing fear. Regardless of the disguise – anger, frustration, sadness – I learned that most, if not all, of my uncomfortable feelings have their roots entwined in some sort of fear. Therefore, my rule is simple: if I’m uncomfortable I’ll ask myself “what could I possibly be afraid of now?” If it’s not an immediate threat that I can resolve this instant, I continue on to the next step.

After I’ve identified that I’m in fear, I remind myself that the opposite of fear is faith, and that fear is the darkroom where negatives get developed. There is one sure way out of the darkroom, through the door of faith. This is my first glimmer of hope to get away from fear.

Since my Higher Power is love, and I know the feeling of love, the final step is closing my eyes and getting on that magic carpet. As I imagine all the love I’ve experienced in life – my children’s smiles, laughter and hugs; my wife’s embraces and gentle kisses; my Mom squeezing me fresh orange juice and making me buttered, rye toast; my dad singing with me while I play guitar – I begin to feel myself being swept away, literally transported, away from fear and into the sunlight of life.

This may sound sappy, but once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll realize how fantastic it is to be able to conquer your fear with just your imagination. No need to try and fix bad things today that may never even happen in the future.

And when I want to take it to the next level, and completely shut the door on fear, I put my earbuds in and start listening to the BrickHouse Station on Pandora (hard to stay in fear while listening, dancing and singing out loud to ‘Play That Funky Music WhiteBoy’).

I’ve been asked before what happens to the THING I’m fearing. Perhaps I’m just burying my head in the sand, or whistling in the dark?

If I was the type of person that didn’t consistently take action towards improving my life, I might acknowledge that they have a point. But, I’m all about action. So I tell them that it’s true, there is the possibility that the THING I’m fearing may be looming, lurking, and waiting. It may actually even happen. But since I can’t predict the future, and since there’s the chance that the THING may never come to fruition, I would rather assume that some wonderful, amazing, great THING may happen instead.

As its been said many times, we manifest our lives. What we think is what we become. What we concentrate on gets magnified. If that’s true, I hope we all banish the concept of bad, scary, unhappy THINGS in our future. Instead, just for today, let’s visualize the most wonderful future anyone could ever experience. Come with me on my magic carpet ride! ILML – James

Inviting God

“When I invite God into my life through prayer, meditation and conversation, I open myself up to infinite possibilities.” – Hope for Today of 37

Most mornings, during my Golden Hour I journal, writing what’s up, identifying things I would like to work on, achievements I’m proud of, amends that need making and gratitude. This morning I found myself running late, and while writing noticing some fear its affect on how I feel. Then I wrote the following:

“I invite more God. More love. More faith. More gratitude. Less fear. I will repeat the words ‘Everything is great! It will continue to be great. It’s going to be fine. You’re great. I got your back James – I’m God & I love you – trust me.’

Thank you God for all you do for me – I love you.’

I choose to breathe, eat, live, sleep, dream and believe these words. They shall be my mantra for today.

My discomfort did not suddenly disappear. However, it subsided a little. I can now breathe a little better. I have begun to think that things actually may be ok today. If I keep these words at the top of my consciousness, I believe I can get back to really loving my life very soon. Right now, honestly, I’m about 70% of where I like to be on the life loving scale, but I know it will keep getting better, because regardless of how I may feel moment to moment, I really do LML! – James

Faith Filled & Fear Free

“I am faith filled and fear free..”
- Until Today

This is the intro to every page for the month of August in Iyanla Vanzant’s book, and it’s become a mantra for me, particularly in times of difficulty. I’m a big believer in affirmations, and being empowered by a faith that keeps me in the light, while free of fears that keep me in darkness, is one of the greatest gifts I know – one I hope everyone can find. Today, if I get upset, uncomfortable, or downhearted, I’ll remember her words and say them out loud until I believe them again. This is just another life loving shortcut on this path of life in recovery! ILML!