Fear is the Mind Killer!

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

The title of this post is a quote from Dune by Frank Herbert. It points out something basic. Fear robs us of our ability to think clearly and it keeps us from loving one another. For some reason we humans have chosen to live in fear rather than in love. And yet so many of us profess we long for a loving world. Living in fear flips everything we do to the opposite of what we profess we want. We act to protect ourselves in all kinds of weird ways rather than leading with love.

I see evidence of humans being ruled by fear on the news almost every day. Police kill unarmed people because they think they have a weapon, politicians create laws to control groups they fear, a gunman opens fire on innocent people, religious and ethnic groups are demonized, and on any given day you can find people venting their fear on social media.

If you look, you can find the opposite, people acting out of love, but it is harder to find those stories because fear sells.

As Herbert’s quote indicates, fear robs us of logical thinking and of feeling any tender emotions. It often rears its head as anger. Many people believe if they express their anger, they are strong. But that’s not always the case. There is a difference between expressing anger out of fear, and righteous anger challenging an injustice. We need to know the difference.

There are too many instances of people acting out of fear to write about them all in this post, though in reality, they are all aspects of the same problem. So, I will focus on what is perhaps the oldest manifestation of fear, men and women.

Since the Me Too movement began there has been a huge backlash all based in fear. This is just one in a long line of gains for women, that men then attempt to roll back. One of the big battles right now is abortion rights. For a few years now, mostly white men have been trying to scale back women’s reproductive rights.

First they tried to shut down Planned Parenthood so that women could not get free or discounted access to contraceptives. The message was, “Women are not allowed to have sex outside of marriage.” It’s a new version of the old double standard. Men can behave as badly as they want and not suffer any repercussions. But women are viewed as either pure as the driven snow, or they’re sluts. There is no in between. The pure women are controlled through fear, the sluts are censured and vilified.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the continued attempts to overturn Roe V. Wade has resulted in nine states passing laws to ban abortion. These proponents in favor of curtailing women’s reproductive rights claim to be pro-life, but as Sister Joan Chittster says, “They are pro-birth, not pro-life.” If these people were pro-life they would support programs that help women and their children, or help women not have unwanted children. But they squash proposed laws to help women with the logic, women got themselves into this mess, now they must live with the consequences. In lawmaker’s minds, a woman’s dire situation is God’s punishment. Hmmm, I wonder what Jesus would do in this situation?

Men and women! I have often wondered why men try to control women. I have felt rage on more than one occasion when men have tried to control my decisions, or treated me like a piece of meat. Just who did they think they were to tell me what to do, or to assume that I was theirs just because they wanted me? The only answer I can come up with is that at some deep existential level, men fear women. Maybe men are afraid of the light in us. It reminds them of who they really are so they have to bully us. And it makes them write stories about how God created man first, and women from the man’s rib to convince themselves they are superior to women. Really? I have never bought that story!

I’m convinced that men are the ones who came up with the ideas that control is love, aggression is strength, emotions are weak, and men are the only ones who are capable of logical thinking. They convinced lots of us that we need to be afraid of the light that we all possess within us.

It’s an extraordinary man, and I’ve known quite a few, who can form a true partnership with a woman. They’re confident in who they are and don’t need to beat their chests to prove it. They lead from the back of the group, they are not afraid to show tender emotions, and they honor everyone. Spiritual teachers call this type of man someone connected to the sacred masculine. Jesus is one example of such a man. He embraced and integrated both masculine and feminine qualities within his being.

I just finished reading the book The Lost Sisterhood by Julia Ingram, a master regression therapist and spiritual counselor, in which she points out that many of the qualities we associate with Jesus are classified as feminine: gentleness, compassion, patience, caring for the sick and the poor, and the love of children. His mission was to try to help all human beings embrace these attributes. I find it interesting that so many men, and even some women, who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, have rejected these traits as beneath them. They much prefer the aggressive, vengeful god of the Old Testament.

I think Marianne Williamson, who is running for president, is right. We all need to take a serious look at our spiritual and moral belief systems. We need to engage in serious discussions about what is wrong with this world, and what we can do to make changes for the better. If we want a better world, we have some adjustments to make in our thinking and feelings about each other. The assumptions we’ve made about God’s teachings are breaking down. We got it wrong. It’s a perfect time amid all this turmoil to take a step back and reevaluate the true principles of those teachers we have revered all our lives.

Almost all religions assert that loving one another is the highest achievement we can aspire to. Unfortunately, through the centuries, we got off that path. We became full of fear and to protect ourselves we created false separations. We grasped for power and possessions thinking those things would protect us. But they won’t. They are false gods.

It’s the energy of love that will save us. Learning to love is a very personal endeavor that begins with forgiving and loving ourselves first. I can speak from personal experience, it’s not easy to give up fear and learn to love myself warts and all. There are so many days when I fall into fear, or anger, or blame. But when I can let go of those emotions and just love and accept people for who they are, I feel at peace. Feeling that way makes me want to continue to strive to see every human being as precious no matter what their outer behaviors. It’s a process I’ve committed myself to no matter how imperfectly I do it.

Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for your comments and likes. I appreciate you being willing to share your thoughts with me.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2019

Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards. It’s a little bit like Outlander in that it’s a historical, time-travel, magical realism, novel. Except that Jenna’s life is shattered. When she finds old journals, she joins consciousness with her three-times great-grandmother, Morgan, rather than traveling physically. She is able to come back at intervals and apply what she’s learned to her own life situations.

The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published. To join her email list, click here. She will never sell the names on her list.

Fear Or Love

Our Rosebush
Our Rosebush

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?” – W. Clement Stone

“If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“Imagine what seven billion humans could accomplish if we all loved and respected each other. Imagine.” – A. D. Williams

Today’s post has been a long time formulating in my mind and heart. I’m not sure I will explain it very well, or whether you will understand it, but I think now is a good time to write about some very profound insights I’ve had over the last few years.

This year I decided to study A Course In Miracles. I started on January first and every day I read a portion of the text and do one lesson. This isn’t the first time I’ve begun to study the book, but I guess I just wasn’t ready, until now, to give up my old ways of thinking and being to stick with it.

The main message of the book is that fear is connected to the ego which we created when we separated ourselves from God. There are so many erroneous things we believe that we created with our egos during this long separation. Too many to innumerate here but we cling to our beliefs. When they are challenged conflict ensues. The point of the Course is that God is love. That there is nothing else but love. That we are a part of God and always have been. She waits for us to wake up and realize that. When we do wake up and remember our connection, all our other erroneous beliefs fall away. We see the world, ourselves and our purpose for being here in a completely new way.

Now I know that sounds impossible. Fear is real most people moan. The problems of the world are so numerous we may never be able to solve them all. The world is a dangerous place. That’s the way things have always been and that is how things will always be. That’s the way things will always be IF that’s what you want to believe.

My journey to letting go of all the junk my ego fed me over the years hasn’t been a straight or an easy one. But something deep inside me looked at the world around me and said, “This is insane. There has to be something better.” So, I looked for the better. I looked for God in my studies, in my meditations and contemplations and through my creativity. Little by little I’ve shed the illusions that we humans have lived with for centuries. No millennia! And now I’m beginning to feel hope that we can wake up from this long nightmare we’ve been living.

A vital step on my journey to finding true love and peace happened when I read Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser. In the book she describes exercises she does when conducting workshops at the Omega Institute which she cofounded. One of them stuck out for me as quite profound. She has the participants in her class imagine that they are dead and gone from the demands of this earthly world. At first I thought the exercise a bit gruesome, but then I decided to try it. When I did the most extraordinary thing happened. All the cares that I thought were so important fell away and I was immersed in the most profound peace I’d ever felt in my life. There were no white lights or anything like that, but I was completely relieved of my burdens of this world and was free to go anywhere I liked, to become anything I liked. I could BE with God in a new and profound way. That experience was the beginning of a new direction that has led me to my study of A Course In Miracles and in letting go of the fear that had been such a large presence in my life.

Just these past weeks I’ve experienced another profound shift in the way I experience life. I was studying a section about how the ego thinks we need to attack those around us. The ego convinces us that if we attack first we’ll be protected, but the opposite is true. When we attack another, we are attacking ourselves. When I understood that, I knew that I had to let go of all the resentments I’d been holding on to. I needed to let go of the wish for revenge, or for accountability, or for apologies from those I thought had attacked me. I needed to forgive completely and totally. As I did that, again, I felt a deep sense of peace. I’ve been able to see each person I might want to hold a grudge against for who they really are, a child of God just like me.

I won’t say I’m perfect at this practice yet. It’s a day to day choice to turn away from those terrible feelings of fear, anger and resentment. When I’m tempted to be angry at some politician who does something I feel is hateful, or against the common good, I have to remember that he or she is a child of God. That person just hasn’t let go of their fear yet. When tensions arise with friends, family and coworkers, I tell myself that God is with me wherever I go, and all is well, even if it doesn’t look like it at the moment. If I just send out love to everyone and everything, that is more powerful than the hatred and fear that is being spread by those who are still asleep. It’s more powerful because love real and fear is not.

I don’t know if you will understand this post. I hope that something I’ve written here will prompt you to allow your connection to God to grow stronger. That’s how we will change the world, and as those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while know, I’m all for making this world a better place in which to live.

Feel free to leave a comment below.

Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2015