In stressful times we develop ways to keep us safe from real or perceived threats and dangers. Our emotional armour aims to protect us by closing us down and creating a shell (known as a defence, layer, or a coping mechanism). It can then separate us from others, so that in theory, we won’t get hurt. The issue with this approach is that it is fear-based, not only separating us from others, but it can also disconnect us from our true self—our wise loving nature within.
This above all, to thine own self be true. ~ William Shakespeare
Our fearful defences are the source of our pain and suffering. Our fear can prevent us from living in hope, seeing the beauty in our life and disconnect us from our intuition or wisdom. Fear can convince us that we need to compete with others, that we are better, worse, richer, poorer, fatter or skinnier. It is the part of us that convinces us, that we’re not good enough, not smart enough, and that we need to struggle to be worthy of having a good life. Our fear can keep us attached to striving, wanting more, feeling unacceptable as we are, and trapped by its power!
We can find peace and transcend our fear by understanding it with love and accepting as it is. Shining love on our fear and living in a state of hope helps us to transcend the pain fear can create. Being aware of how the fear interrupts our actions and thoughts can be a crucial step in being more present and mindful, ensuring our inner world doesn’t negatively affect how we feel about ourselves and those around us.
- Be aware that ongoing pain and reactivity, is a result of defences created by fear.
- View your defences, for example, any; sadness, anger, hurt, grief or guilt with compassion and love. They are all part of our human experience and feelings that come and go.
- When you accept your feelings as they are, they will flow through your energetic system. This process gives you information about yourself, so you can respond with wisdom, rather than react from your ego in various situations.
- Focus on creating a beautiful vision for yourself one that is wise, kind, compassionate, loving, creative and intuitive. Ways you can do this are by creating a written list or a visual grid of the eight C’s listed below. In each grid put a picture or symbol, representing what these areas mean to you:
- Compassion: how are you are compassionate towards others, without expectation, in an unconditionally loving way?
- Creativity: what inspires you? Is it art, music, or a particular project that you admire?
- Community: what gives you a sense of community?
- Clan: your loved ones, your family, friends and colleagues?
- Communion: do you commune with your spirit, connecting with your natural source of love? It could be by meditating, prayer, taking time to relax and be still or gardening or soccer, for example.
- Connection: what is it about you, that connects you to others and is your finest quality? Your loving heart, your kind deeds, your non-judgemental nature, or any other quality that represents you at your best?
- Caring: what is it about you that displays your caring for humanity? It could be comforting small children in distress (including your inner child) or helping others in need.
- Call to nature: it is a powerful force when it comes to transcending the ego and reconnecting you to your natural loving state. Walking on the beach, in the forest, sitting by the ocean or a lake, for example, will help you to return to your calm and peaceful centre.
Ego is to the true self what a flashlight is to a spotlight. ~ John Bradshaw