How To Be Secure In An Insecure World
Most of us believe that our happiness and security are dependent upon our relationships, work, income and the external events that take place in our lives. When things are going well there is a sense of well-being and safety. We sleep well at night, wake up feeling refreshed and have the sense that the world can be managed - that we are in control. However, this kind of security is fleeting. As people and events are constantly changing, we are often edgy about what's coming down the road.
We then spend our time and energy trying to manage and control ourselves and others. This craze to control takes many forms. It produces anxiety that never seems to dissolve and turns into addictions, compulsions, catastrophic thinking. It leads to difficult, unhappy relationships based upon power struggles.
No matter how much we attempt to strategize and organize, life itself often has its own plans and ideas. When we cannot accept this, our life then soon becomes an endless struggle, rather than a source of joy. We become unable to go with the turn of the tide that life's changes brings and discover the new momentum that may be coming our way.
Most of the time it is fear that stops us. We long to live in the known, predict what will happen, to be able to respond in familiar ways. What we seek what is actually a false security, based upon keeping everything the same. But as the very nature of life is change, sooner or later our efforts must always fail.
The more we cling to what has been, the more real security eludes us. True security, the ability to live without fear, comes from being in touch with and trusting the one within who
The One Who Knows
Deep within each of us, there is a knowing and resilient part of ourselves who is able to respond full, know what to do when the moment arises and is at ease and filled with good will. This part of ourselves is filled with balance and creativity. As we contact this aspect of ourselves, bring it to light, give it time and attention, we become less affected by external circumstances and our life takes a completely different turn.
There is a process involved in connecting with and nurturing this part of ourselves, steps to take. These steps are directed to letting of that which is in the way. We start by un-learning some of what we've based our lives upon. Different individuals will resonate to different parts of the process. That is fine. Each step when done completely will take a person where they need to be.
Here are some basic, initial steps and principles in this wonderful journey to the center of a life of balance and trust.
A) Returning Home -
To begin, rather than racing forward, we stop and turn around. Some call this returning to our original nature. We describe this step as Returning Home.
Rather than continue our frantic search for pleasure, wealth, love, well being in the external world, we return home to ourselves. We take back our attention and return it to who, what and where we are at this very moment. As we do this a centeredness, balance and simplicity takes the place of the upheaval we live with most of the time.
This step is based upon the principle that difficulties we encounter do not arise from that which is going on outside of us, but from the way we react and respond. As we return home and become aware, our reactivity lessens and natural balance and wisdom takes its place.
Returning home can include times of walking, meditation, centering, focussing, journalling. All of these have the common denominator of placing our attention within. This not only restores our energy, but significantly reduces the endless spin of catastrophic thinking most of us engage in. As we do this we notice it is the catastrophic thinking itself that makes us uneasy, not the actual events right before us now.
B)Letting Go Of False Expectations
Our fear of life and need to control is often fuelled by the disappointments we have suffered. Over and over we try to make things work out according to our desires. We may not see that many of these dashed expectations and desires, are simply fantasies, dreams, hopes and demands we've placed upon others. When our personal wishes are not fulfilled, resentment and fear develop. Often we do not see that our wishes may have little to do with what is real - or what is beneficial for ourselves or others.
As we release our expectations, we become able to see and accept the world as it is and find a new way of living in it. We find who we are, where we belong and where our true security lay. Many then become amazed at how light, joyous and at ease they feel - and at the abundance of beauty and goodness that has always been available to them, day by day. We also begin to see that -
"The world is a womb, not a tomb, a place where everything is engendered and brought to life." Henry Miller
Dr. Brenda Shoshanna, www.brendashoshanna.com">http://www.brendashoshanna.com, is author of LIVING BY ZEN, (Timeless Truths For Everyday Life), www.livingbyzen.com">http://www.livingbyzen.com. A psychologist, long term Zen practitioner, speaker and workshop leader she offers talks and workshops on finding our inner security and fulfillment. Dr. Shoshanna also speaks on all aspects of relationships and living life to the brim. She is the author of ZEN MIRACLES (Finding Peace In An Insane World, Wiley, and ZEN AND THE ART OF FALLING IN LOVE, (Simon and Schuster). She is the relationship on i.village and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 288-0028.
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