Dissolving the fear in our minds

Luke and his new toy

Luke is our big, long-haired German Shepherd. He is a goofy, loveable guy who makes the most of his life with 6 cats, none of whom want to play with him. He was born different…he didn’t even look like the other puppies in the litter, and by the time he was 6 weeks old, he couldn’t stand on his hind legs, but he was a sweet puppy both in looks and temperament. The breeder was a friend of ours, and offered him to us because he couldn’t be sold. We said yes. It was recommended that we get his hips x-rayed since hip problems can be an issue with shepherds. We didn’t do it.

I knew that if I heard from our vet that Luke had bad hips, I would never be able to get the image out of my mind, and what we imagine and fear, will start to manifest. We decided instead to accept him the way that he was, wiggly hips and all, and only do something medically if he was in pain, which he wasn’t. He will be 4 years old in May.

There is an idea, a belief system, operating in the world that we must prepare for disaster. That worry, fear, and massive amounts of information about every disease, disorder and disaster that could potentially befall us (or those that we love), will help avert those things from coming, and just the opposite is true. What we prepare for, we are making room for, in our lives.

Hyper-vigilance prevents us from being able to listen to the voice within, which is our greatest gift, our best friend. Whether you call that voice the “still small voice of God”, intuition, guidance, guardian angel or gut feeling, it really doesn’t matter, but what does matter is the knowing inside that we can trust ourselves. That if we tune into that “voice”, for direction, we will be guided toward the correct action, toward the lives that we want, instead of the lives that we fear. The Spirit never scares us into action. When I am in-tune with my inner guidance, and I do need to take action about some thing that could end up being a problem, I get a “nudge” that might feel like an unusual thought, and if I don’t listen, it gets more persistent (and this is a good thing), but it doesn’t lead by fear.

The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds“. William James

37 thoughts on “Dissolving the fear in our minds

  1. He looks beautiful to me, and is certainly another fortunate creature to have found his way to you! Your love and acceptance have made him whole, just as he was meant to be.

    Yes, yes, yes to “not knowing” some things makes our lives less fearful and much happier. I’ve experienced that myself on many occasions, and while I do believe that being prepared for some circumstances makes great sense, trusting our inner voice about accepting what is, makes better sense most of the time.

    Thank you Mary for a shining example of that!
    Lucky Luke!,
    From Fran

  2. Thanks for this powerful message today, Mary. I’ve experienced life both ways – being hyper vigilant at times, but more often listening and trusting. Any time I have found myself being the former, it is so much more stressful! It’s that illusion of having control. I really believe that more people are listening to the inner voice and, although it is not always visible, there is a shift happening that is very exciting! What a doll that Luke is!

  3. Sharpening our knowing
    years of practice
    on the
    mat of LIFE
    Knowing we can be
    whatever
    whenever
    however!

    You are a Photographer
    —he said—
    I am a Photographer
    –I said to self
    Card made with
    Name
    Photographer
    and
    contact information!
    I am a Photographer!

    • Yes, Marjorie, you are a photographer! Your lovely poem will help me remember that I am now going to focus on what I am, not what I am not. The minute I decided that, I became aware of how many times I start a thought with…”but, I’m not……” I have the power to stop that before I finish the thought.

  4. Great message. Too often I listened to the doom and gloom about preparing for disaster. I’m better at not listening to those voices but a few still get in. When that happens I turn my ear to God and let His voice take over. He never fails to make me feel better.

  5. Sometimes when I write a post like this, people interpret it as me saying, “Do this or do that (example vet care or not) and this is not AT ALL what I am saying. I am saying, “listen to your inner voice and be led by that wisdom, not by fear.” If I felt I needed to go to the doctor, or take any animal to the vet at any time, or call a friend, or take a certain medication, or suddenly feel I need to get my car checked, I would do it. This world provides us all sorts of helpful people and my intention is to take full advantage of our wonderful help when I am led to do so.

  6. mary, this post nails what i often struggle with. we, on the west coast are bombarded by emergency-earthquake preparedness. ( maybe you on the east coast are too, and spots in between.)

    whenever i see a new list of “musts, must-have-must-do” i begin to panic, each time anew. perhaps i really haven’t stored sufficient water/food/medicine, etc. the lists are numerous and persistent, especially since the japanese earthquake.

    i have a sister who has stock-piled an entire aersonal of goods and still she frets about not having proper supplies/provisions. she and husband are ever re-building their house for disaster preparedness. they seem to never be from under the hammer of this fear-driven manic. it seems to dismantle the relationships to other family and friends.

    fear is a powerful driver; seems to feed itself; whether luke’s hips or any vain imaginings. besides a prudent supply of basic water, food and a few tools, i will not allow myself to follow this fear-mongering thought form.

    i think it’s like diana says here, that it’s an illusion of control. how i like to think that i’m in control; seems no peace resides there.

    for me, mary, that feels right: spirit never scares us into action. such a great reminder to follow the inner voice.

    • Thank you for those thoughts Virginia…keeping my mind on what I want, not what I fear, takes A LOT of focus!

  7. Love the picture of Luke. You can tell by his eyes what a sweetie-pie he is!

    Late in my life, I’m trying to give it up to doing more of ‘listening and trusting,’ as Diana called it. It’s easy when times are quiet and hard when you’re facing something unpleasant. Right now, I am in the latter, and am spending every moment trying to catch my fear-induced thoughts and turn them into a ‘positive knowing.’ It can be exhausting trying to get out of the way of your own mind.

    And so, Mary, I am looking upon your post today as coming from the ‘listening and trusting’ sphere, and am taking it as a personal message to me from Spirit. You always say what I need most to hear. Pretty good way to start 2012!

  8. I love hearing about your pets, Mary, and this story of Luke is heartwarming. To love someone, human or pet, is to love them as they are…none of us is perfect although we can make them so in our hearts.
    Your post today really made me pause, read it again, pause and think…I will ponder your words for awhile to come. We do live in fear of so many things and no amount of planning for a disaster will prevent it from coming, no amount of wishing a disease won’t affect us or a loved one will make it so…I agree it is an illusion of control and control is something we must learn to give to God…or drive ourselves crazy, be unhappy or depressed! I certainly don’t want to live my life that way!!!
    Thanks to all for your wise words today…xoxoxo

  9. “The Spirit *never* scares us into action” ~ so true! So easy to forget, too, sometimes… thanks for the reminder, Mary!

  10. I, too, loved Cathy’s phrase, “turn my ear to God”, and “Be still and know that I am God”. When we are still and listen to our inner voice, I do believe God enters that still, sacred space and hovers there. And again, Jesus said more than any other words in scripture, “Fear not”. Spirit never scares us into action – Mary, that’s going into my White Feather Farm folder today. – We are prodded and coerced from all sides (full page ads in newspapers by pharmaceutical giants pushing drugs) to be ever vigilant and on top of our physical health. A year physical a must! But what about a yearly spiritual tune-up? – I thank you again for yesterday’s invitation to share a little more of our lives. I am now reading Nancy’s Living the Seasons blog, and have started my own Small Stones Journal for January, thanks to her suggestion. White Feather Farm is a magical place. Thank you Mary!

    • I feel the magic here to Susan…It is a place that we have all created, from our individual desires for deeper and more meaningful connection. Thank you, thank you

  11. I came across your blog via Bedlam Farm. I’m glad I did!

    I, too, got so tired of the panic-driven media that I no longer read the newspaper and rarely turn on the TV except to watch PBS at bedtime. Jon Katz wrote a nice related piece on his blog a short time ago. I couldn’t agree more.

    I also have a “less-than-perfect” dog, a rescued golden retriever with a bum leg. He doesn’t “conform to the standard”, but we don’t care, we just keep on going. He’s even doing agility now. We proved everybody wrong! 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and your Fur-babies!

  12. So true. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. You are right on. Happy New Year!

  13. Mary, I was just enjoying reading more entries from January first’s blog where you invited your readers to share a bit about their lives. Everyone, there are now 75 posts! Have you topped that number this past year Mary? Did you expect such a response from a simple invitation? I guess that teaches us that when we simply open the door to others, be it with a smile or a simple “how are you” to a stranger, the loving intention is returned a thousandfold. Jill said maybe she will adopt “fearless” for her word of 2012. May we all resolve to be a Fearless Flock! Strength in numbers one and all!

    • I certainly did not expect this Susan! It has been overwhelmingly wonderful. I even said to Jack after I posted, “I wonder if anyone will comment today? I hope so.”

  14. What a wonderful dog and how fortunate he is that he was taken in by people who knew what would be best for him. His picture makes me want to come through the ‘net and hug him!

  15. “Being led by wisdom, not by fear”…makes so much sense to the logical intelligent part of my brain. I just have to keep repeating that until it comes naturally to me! Oh so much wisdom in today’s post and comments. This is indeed a magical place!

  16. Dear Mary,

    I completely trust in YOUR ability to connect with YOUR Luke…no matter the challenges he or you might have in body or in spirit. I believe animals know this concept better than we do and are forever grateful when we just accept them as they are…..for they are teaching us to do the same with others and ultimately with ourselves. I’m sure Luke loves you for seeing him for who he is in spite of what others may have predicted.

  17. So, so true! My first defense when I see something that is a little off in the barnyard is to give the critter a good scratch, an extra handful of feed, and say to myself, “That’s going to go away. Everything’s just fine.” And a lot of times it really is. Giving the body a chance to heal itself often works well—especially with animals who aren’t thinking they probably have cancer/tumors/diseases when they have a simple ache or pain. 🙂
    Stevie @ ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

  18. I am a few days behind since I have limited access to the internet (my choice) but I want to contribute to the New Year well wishing to all. Mary, I was so touched to see the outpouring from your community …..happy for you and proud to be part of this . I was also pleased to see the Reiki principles included, as I try my best to honor them each day. I believe they fit in with today’s message of being guided by Universe through hope and loving effort rather than fear. We need to take responsibility for the power of our thoughts and intentions and know that the energy generated by thought and prayer is Real and Powerful. Stepping back from the tide of fear is a huge step and feels so good ! That is a practice that I will continue to cultivate this year. Joy to all.

    • Maud, I really love that image, stepping Back! from the tide of fear! After all, if at ocean’s edge we felt the tide to be too turbulent, with under currents waiting to sweep us away, common sense would tell us not to enter, – so why not recognize fear in that same way? As over powering, and not a good place to enter, much less submerge ourselves! Thank you for this image Maud!

  19. This past Sunday, I heard Dr. Charles Stanley preach on something similar to this topic on his program, In Touch. Interesting about that. God is speaking to all of us, using many voices.

    I always enjoy hearing about Luke.

  20. Awww, that Luke is sure a gorgeous goofball! I also have one like that, my recent adoptee “Archie” who’s a Brittany/Aussie mix. He’s a strikingly pretty orange/red dog with white ruff and paws, a really cute face, and a silly and playful personality; he also has an old shoulder injury that causes him to limp, some days worse than others.

    It doesn’t slow him down that much, and as he’s already middle-aged, there’s no way I’d put him through a surgery and the confinement afterward. But the city I live in has some great resources for P.T. for dogs, including several places with therapy pools where you can swim your dog for exercise, so I’m going to look into whether P.T. could help increase his walking range from half a mile to, say, a mile. If it’s affordable and can be done with a reasonable investment of time and effort, it could be fun to take him somewhere to swim. And to get in the water myself with him is something I haven’t done before, and as I am not much of a water person, a way for me to push an edge of my own back a bit. It’ll be growthful for both of us!

    How great that Luke has been able to “normalize” as a family pet; if he runs into difficulties later on, you can work with them at that time, based on what is actually happening and not theoretical future problems. It’s so cute that he wants to play with the kitties; what a great disposition! All my two crazy brats want to do is chase anything that moves — cats, squirrels, and yes, the skunks that live near the community garden in our neighborhood. Lovely habit (not). Luke is special, that’s for sure!

  21. Dear Mary, Thank you for the wonderful post. Just got my computer back and this is the first post I’ve read in awhile. Luke is one handsome fellow. What would we do without our sweet animals? Happy New Year & Peace! Susan

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