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Don't Feed the Children of Fear

Key Lesson: All half-actions are the children of fear; this explains not only why they fail us -- as they do -- but also how they sow the seeds of indecision that, in turn, completes the dark cycle of self-compromise.

Abolish Harmful Inner Voices

Look closely for all of the inner gold locked within the wisdom of the following fact. Your extra efforts here will pay off handsomely.

If you can't see some thought or feeling as it goes through you, then you don't have the choice whether to be that thought or feeling or not.

So, before we can choose not to compromise ourselves, we must first become acutely aware of those thoughts of ours that may be holding some secret seed of self-defeat. If we don't know we're doing this kind of compromised thinking -- or acting out their emotional counterparts -- what else can follow but to receive the defeat that they embody?

For example, these harmful inner voices and emotional forces may tell us to resent someone or to hate our life; or to give up, and accept fear as a way of life. Our own thoughts may instruct us, without our ever knowing it, to cling to doubts; or to jump headlong into pools of self-pity. And because we don't know there's any alternative, we do as we're instructed.

What we don't know yet, but what we're learning even now, is that we can wake up right in the middle of these mental ordeals. Working with self-observation, we can actually see, for ourselves, that these self-compromising thoughts are just that: thoughts. They have no real authority, which means their unconscious direction does not have to be our destiny.

"I've had a few moments being aware of my own thoughts, but it doesn't seem to me like anything's happening when I watch. And there have been other times when I felt very uncomfortable with what I saw within myself. What should I do?"

Just keep going.

Your persistent wish to silently watch your own thoughts and feelings cannot be denied. So have no concern that your initial efforts to be self-observing may not reveal that much about yourself. Which brings us to an important point. Never mistake any discovery about yourself for being yourself. In other words, don't look at your present level of insight, whatever it may be, as being a negative. Instead, observe it as a fact that's for you, not against you. Patient investigation of any temporary truth about yourself can only bring more light into your inner world. Greater and greater inner vision will come, but you must grow accustomed to this self-illumination. And this includes what happens within you as the light of self-observation brightens.

There are many mistaken notions dwelling there in the darkness of the unawakened mind. To think they won't squeal as you bring this light to bear on them would be naive on your part. But, with the persistent practice of self-observation, you can even learn to use the mind's howling to live thought-free. Here's how.

To begin with, always take a conscious step back from anything which howls at you from within. Once removed, in this special fashion, now see that any shriek of discomfort, worry, anxiety, or shame, can never be a part of who you really are. It's time for you to realize the freedom in this discovery. It can be done. Others have gone before you.

The high ground of a free mind is quietly waiting for you. Step up and into this thought-free realm by allowing the following three higher facts to help you develop your practice of self-observation.

  1. Casually, but definitely, consciously defy any feeling that tells you you're stuck with it.

  2. Stepping back from your own thoughts and learning to watch them is the same as stepping up to a free mind.

  3. Being receptive to a higher fact about yourself lifts you to the level of that insight where the fact you once feared no longer frightens you, just as eagles don't fear sharks.

This article is excerpted from Freedom From the Ties That Bind (pages 45-47.).

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