FEAR OF NOTHING HAPPENING
Sometimes we frantically and unrestfully do. We just do. Do as much as we can while simultaneously attempting to not pay attention to the feeling that what we are trying to do, the impact we are trying to have, the change we are wanting to make, may in fact not be happening. If we stop the incessant activity for even one second in order to pay attention to what is actually happening, we might recognize that the way we are approaching whatever it is we are doing, is not working. Yikes, but then what? If it’s not working we fear we won’t know how to make it work so we just keep doing what we know and hope that something magically happens or that no one (including ourselves) notices that nothing has in fact changed.
This underlying anxious feeling that nothing might happen perpetuates the doing and even intensifies it. We get caught in a vicious cycle of feeling like we can’t stop or else something catastrophic may occur. We might feel failure. We might feel disappointment. We might feel confusion. We might feel powerless or at a loss. So we just keep doing, and keep hoping that something will change, because feeling all of those other things feels like too much for us to handle. Rather than feel all of those things, the doing keeps us numb and in denial of the situation at hand. It keeps us from facing, accepting or being present with what is really occurring. We choose to feel numb and disconnected rather than feel failure, confusion, loss and powerlessness because choosing numb and disconnected, while not exactly comfortable, is in someway easier.
The question we often don’t want to face is, “what if nothing works?” Other flavors of this question can be “what if I don’t know how” or “what if I can’t”. We fear what will happen, what will remain or what will be, if what is can’t be changed. What is seems unacceptable to us and this un-acceptance keeps us feeling powerless. The experience of this can be paralyzing, while creating ceaseless thought loops that keep us internally restless and externally doing to keep us distracted from feeling. The doing isn’t productive in its attempt to accomplish what it hopes will change. It is however productive in is capacity to keep us engaged so that we don’t have to pay attention to what’s not working and feel the feelings and potential threat that come with those feelings. What if nothing changes, then what? What will be lost? What do we fear will happen if nothing happens or the change or impact we desire to see doesn’t reveal itself? Threats to our survival, resources, reputation, how we view ourselves, our purpose, and what we think we want to have or do, can all be perceived to be at threat.
STOP, RELAX, REPEAT
Feeling is how you know
What happens if we stop the doing? If in one swift moment we simply stop the activity, both inner and outer? What remains is that we must feel the fear of nothing. Of nothing changing, of nothing occurring, of not having the impact we hoped for. We must feel what is, when what is, is not what we like. That which feels unchanged and which we feel powerless to change. When we end the running that we do with all of the activity, we are left with our fear of hopelessness and powerlessness to what is. We absolutely must get to this point, because if we don’t we will keep avoiding without recognizing the power that we are to create change.
See the power for change, impact and “happening” seems to be outside of us we when are caught up in the fear of “nothing happening cycle”. Unless we directly feel that loss of power, we don’t find the power inside of ourselves because we are too busy avoiding feeling powerless. It seems like a paradox to the mind, and yet it is only through surrendering to what we are actually feeling and experiencing (in this case powerlessness), that the light can reveal itself to us. That light being the light of your very own consciousness that recognizes itself and recognizes the power it’s been all along to change or create the impact that is desired. We can’t see that light if we are busy avoiding what is. We are clouded by the fear of all of the potential perceived threats we have about what isn’t happening and our restless strategies to avoid feeling.
When just for a moment or two we stop the activity we open into the space of our own unknown. If while inside this space we dare to relax for just another moment or two we can begin to feel again. Perhaps we feel some uncomfortable feelings, and perhaps we simply just feel. We un-numb ourselves and stop denying what is. We cease resisting and alas feeling returns. With feeling back online we become more present, more aware and innately know “what” to do rather than just doing stuff to avoid feeling. We attune and listen. We are led and follow. We work with what’s there rather than resisting it and trying to change it into something else. We drop in and towards. This is how we create.
Knowing what to do in order to create change or impact isn’t far away, it’s just masked underneath the fear that we don’t know what to do. It’s masked underneath the feeling of powerlessness. Again our power to know is masked underneath our fear that we don’t know, and we avoid feeling that we don’t know like we avoid the plaque. That avoidance manifests itself as doing, as inner and outer incessant, restless activity. In order to lift the mask we must first be present to our sense of powerlessness, accept it, and allow the recognition of our power, or our creator self, to reveal itself to us yet again. Your power is right here even if you don’t know or see right now. Nothing is out of your reach. You must only stop, relax and repeat. Repeat often. This will help you will feel again and feeling informs action. Feeling is how we know and how we do from a connected, restful state of being.
Dr. Amanda Love, Network Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado