Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Befriending Your Fears, Part I

Dear Friends,

I am beginning to befriend my fears.

I no longer fear my fears. I do not allow them power over me. This post is the beginning of sharing with you my process of overcoming my (diminishing) fear of germs and illness. My fear was borne of trauma when Paige was four weeks old.

I want to share with you a response I wrote to a local unschooling friend online, when she asked other families for advice about preventing illnesses:

Hello! I'm sorry you aren't feeling well! I know what a drag that is! 
For us, Cold Calm has been a miraculous help for symptom relief and for eliminating the cold in 1-2 days. It's homeopathic, and available at CVS. I became a lot more confident and relaxed about trying to prevent colds, once I knew I had this surefire antidote, if necessary! 
As for prevention, for me it was an intentional shift in my focus. When Paige was a baby, she caught a cold, which turned into pneumonia, which freaked me out because I was afraid she would die. This incident sparked a fear of germs for me. 
During the next two winters, I was determined to prevent any viruses or other illnesses from reaching our family. We washed hands, used Purell, disinfected shopping carts (and I mean thoroughly), minimized going out, avoided having people over, and required them to wash hands upon arrival if they came. I started a regimen of Vitamin C, echinacea, multi-vitamins, the whole nine yards, because I was intent on not getting sick. 
And do you care to guess what happened? 
At least one of us, if not all of us, were sick EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR OVER 100 DAYS. Both winters. It was craaaaazy! 
This past winter, I decided to change my focus. First, I realized no one died from the colds and flues in my family. Second, I experienced we could bounce back, and I always managed to scrape up enough energy to get through mine and my family's illnesses. Just barely, but I did it. And finally, I was just plain too tired and didn't have the energy to fight the flues anymore. I was done. And I let it go. 
The result? 
My recollection is we were not sick once. Not at all. If we were even once, I don't recall, and it wasn't notable. 
Once I stopped putting energy and attention on illness and attempting to prevent it, it simply was no longer a part of our lives. 
This month, the kids caught a cold on our trip to Texas. I did not freak out or overreact. My husband and I caught it, too, took Cold Calm, and it was over. No big deal.
This is a huge shift for me. Maybe I unconsciously attracted those previous viruses into our lives, just so I could be flooded with it, and know that we could survive no matter what. They lost their power over me. And I came through it feeling empowered and peaceful. 
Louise Hay has written a great deal about body ailments and using our intentions and affirmations to rid our bodies of dis-ease, and become our healthiest selves. (Her books are on amazon.)
Best wishes for a healthful, peaceful season:)
Whew! Join me in befriending our fears, rather than fearing them and giving them power over our selves and our lives. Going with the flow feels sooooo much better. Letting go of what we have no control over in the first place. Let's be each other's support for freeing our energy for creative pursuits, living and loving in the present moment, and inviting our fears to at least ride in the passenger seat. We may discover they end up in the back seat, and eventually at the side of the road. I hate to litter, but on the other hand, I think we will find the wind will blow them away, and we will actually see the fears for what they are: a mirage.

Love,
Carrie

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