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Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Fear and Control Exercise

If there is one easily identifiable and often irrational emotion it is fear. If an ego fears something, it will try to control it. If the ego fails, often it becomes irritable, frustrated, or angry.

With almost 100% certainty, think of the last time you were irritable, frustrated, or angry. Did you have a fear that you were unable to calm, reassure, or control? Just how important was that in retrospect? Would acceptance be irrational?

The fear and control exercise is a fun one to observe. Take a few days, perhaps even a week or two, and observe those people who surround you. Pay attention to what they say and do. Watch as they exert their fears and thus control over the people around you and yourself.

Try to identify the source of what they do. A common denominator will begin to emerge. If you are in a number of particularly crazy, conflict and ego driven relationships, this fear and control
theme will simply become overwhelming and undeniable. Laughable in many instances.

I used to love to watch talk shows. They are a veritable minefield of egos lost in preoccupation with the self, fear and control, and ego. After awhile, they became too embarrassing for me to watch. But they are an excellent reference source for the fear and control exercise.

Once I was mediating a dispute between two lovers as they wrestled for control of their relationship. Both participants were completely unconscious and absorbed in self-trying to assuage their fears. She wanted complete devotion and the "house with a picket fence" (a faulty belief system) and he wanted a more casual and uncommitted relationship. The two participants in this relationship refused to budge, held hostage to their fears and thus control of how they wanted this thing to turn out. It eventually boiled over as she manipulated him into a psychological corner. His fears and thus inability to control her manifested themselves into an angry, hostile, and near violent conclusion complete with name calling, labeling, and the usual host of negative judgments.

All of the things we have talked about thus far were evident. Faulty beliefs, fear and control, and to a larger degree, un-communicated expectations.

So take a few days or a week to focus on fear and control. The extent and the clarity of this will emerge. In fact, it may overwhelm you. Do this exercise at home or work, or while talking to your siblings, parents, co-workers, or boss.

One last caveat. Keep the results to yourself. Unconscious egos will launch counterattacks as soon as they feel threatened or fearful. This exercise is intended to just make you aware of all of the insanity around you. Pointing it out serves no useful purpose.

Essay 11. Recap and Summary

Perhaps you've arrived here and are now asking yourself, "Who is this maniac?" or "What's in it for him?"

Both of those are fair questions. You won't find anyone teaching unconditional love because quite frankly, nobody believes in it. You won't find a Harvard degree or a course of study at state college. So if you are looking for credentials, good luck. The answer to the 2nd question is far simpler. Unconditional love and emotional freedom is a gift. It was given to me for free. I couldn't care less if I made one thin dime returning the gift to others. Hard to believe in a cynical and jaded world where everyone is in it for themselves. We are conditioned to believe that. Like all of the illusory beliefs we acquire, that is simply one more example.

This is a recap designed to acquire recognition. At the end of this, we are about to develop an action plan that will change your life. So let's recap where we've been.

We understand that we know very little about others. We think we know but we do not. What we see in others is just a reflection of our own beliefs which are merely opinions. That is the basis for a faulty belief system.

We acquire beliefs which are faulty or true only for ourselves. As we add more and more beliefs, an ego begins to emerge. A false sense of self that tells us we are less than or more than others. We've agreed to accept as true the opinions of our teachers, or our experiences which very often are isolated and limiting or untrue.

Our ego then begins to rule our thought processes. It takes over. It fights for survival as it imposes faulty beliefs on others and struggles for survival. It causes conflict and convinces us that it is right. It refuses to allow us to examine it. The ego is fear based. It doesn't want to let go of the faulty beliefs and judgments it has acquired. Our ego runs rampant, it runs us.

Accepting responsibility for the ego is our first attempt at rigorous honesty. We begin to unmask it and realize the damage our ego has inflicted on others and ourselves. We expose it, we recognize it. We examine our role in conflicts and realize just how silly they are.

We accept that we have acted poorly and we seek to improve our lives by taking action and wrestling control of our ego.

We see how negative judgments, (and some good ones) adversely affect us. We see the insanity of labeling others or assuming on minimal information that we know anything about the people around us. We simply do not understand people well enough to arrive at any conclusion.

We have examined fear and control and the huge role those emotions play in virtually everything we do and virtually everything others do. Fear and control are the triggers that call our ego into action.

We realize that allowing ourselves to become victims and to wallow in self pity is a useless exercise. We realize that adversity strikes us all and how we deal with adversity either leaves us in a tar pit of emotions or allows us to take action and escape with a minimum of damage.

Uncommunicated expectations are another manifestation of our ego. They too have their roots sunk deep into our unconscious ego. The insane idea that others will behave just as we want or expect is patently ridiculous. That our beliefs should be theirs. We will try to be better communicators and expose ourselves to the ones we love.

At this stage, we have begun to recognize all of this insanity caused by the human ego. We are going to accept that often at times we have acted fearfully and selfishly and that we were given these beliefs or acquired them.

At the point of recognition, we can no longer continue to repeat this insanity. There would be no point in finding a leak in the dam and then refusing to fix it. We want to improve our lives and get as well as we can. We are going to embrace this idea and take the steps necessary to improve our lives and our relationships. You are about to embark on a mission of real emotional freedom. What some may refer to as, "spirituality." We are going to examine some essential tools and ultimately develop a plan.