Well, you’ve finished Step 1 and you’ve taken responsibility for what you’re feeling. Step 2 is all about discovering why you aren’t at peace. Why are you mad or scared or anxious or impatient? I’ll give you a hint. The answer is NEVER about someone else and what they did or didn’t do. It’s always about us. I really think we only have two real feelings, the rest are just offshoots of those two. You’re either content or you’re afraid of something. That’s it. One or the other. If you’re mad, something happened to stir up your fear monster and it’s just coming out as anger. If you’re sad, that’s a fear coming out. If you’re lonely, that’s a fear coming out. You get the picture. If you’re feeling bad for any reason, a fear is coming out. The trick is to figure out what that fear is, own it and then release it to God. Let Him figure out how to fix it. You don’t have to worry about that part. It’s ok to feel mad or sad or lonely or whatever. Sometimes it just can’t be helped. But you need to look at the deeper fear that’s causing these feelings. What’s that about? Are you afraid to be left alone? Are you afraid that people won’t like you? Are you afraid that you don’t have control of something? What are you really afraid of? Like I said in step 1, 99% of the time my deep, down fear is about not being loved. If I dig down deep enough, it always comes to that. But, whatever your fear is, you need to own it, know it, and release it.
Of course, there’s always a catch with everything. When you release it, it’s probably not really gone. Just a little hunk of it gets destroyed. You still have that big ol’ hulking fear lurking in the back of your mind. I call it my Fear Monster. But, the more it gets brought out in you, the more you can whack a hunk off of it. That’s why, if you really take notice of your true fears whenever you get upset about something, you’ll start to see a pattern. It’s your Spirit trying to help you get rid of that fear mountain you have growing in you. I’m trying to be grateful whenever my fear of not being loved rears its ugly head, because then I get to whack another hunk off of that. If I do it enough, one day it will be gone. I might be 97 by then, but it will be gone!
Once we accept that how we react to something is our responsibility then we have to decide if this reaction brings us closer to our inside self (the Spirit of God in our soul) or does it take us further away? Sometimes you have to dig down a little to find your true feelings. Let me give you an example: So let’s say you stub your toe. It hurts. For some people it stops right there. They just say “Yikes that hurt” and they go on. For other people, it causes more than pain. It ticks them off and they start yelling at the people around them. Why? Same stubbed toe. Why are some people mad at that? Because way down deep in their mind, some very ignored fear was stirred up. It could be that hurting their toe reminded them of when their older brother used to beat on them and they felt unloved and alone. It could be anything. It’s for them to uncover and it’s not fun to do. It’s much easier to just say “I’m mad because I stubbed my toe” than it is to say “I’m mad because my dad used to belittle me and make me feel worthless”. So how do we dig down to that fear? How do we know it’s not just “I’m mad that I stubbed my toe”? Easy! If you feel anything other than contentment, then your fear monster has been stirred up and you need to do these steps. For step two that means asking ourselves tough questions and answering them honestly. Let me give you an example of my own.
If you read my blog, you probably know by now that I don’t like my job. It’s not the job that’s really upsetting me (even though I would love to blame it on that). Here’s how I get to the root of what’s bothering me: I start with – I don’t like my job. Then I ask myself “Why”? Because I don’t like the drive and I don’t like being away from home. Why? Because I want to spend more time with my grandkids and kids. I don’t want to be gone at work all day when I could be with them. Why do you have to be with them so much? Because I love them. “Not good enough”. Because I feel like I will be a bad mom and grandma if I’m not. “Why does that bother you”? I’m afraid they’ll need me and I won’t be there. Or worse, I’m afraid that they won’t need me. What scares you about your family not needing you? I’m afraid that if they don’t need me, they may not love me. Now we’re cooking! Why are you afraid of not being loved? Because if people don’t love me, then there must be something terribly wrong with me and I’m afraid that God won’t love me and I’ll truly be all alone. There we go! That’s the bottom of it. It’s not so much that I don’t like my job, it’s that it keeps me from my family and I’m afraid that they won’t love me if I’m not there for them. I’m really afraid of not being loved and needed by my family. But way, way, way down deep, I also have a fear that there is something so wrong with me that even God won’t love me. It has nothing to do with the job. So while my outside self is telling me that I don’t like my job, my inside self (soul) is telling me that I’m afraid of feeling unloved and unneeded. Isn’t that cool? That’s what you have to do when you work through what’s really scaring you. You have to keep going deeper until you hit the bottom of it. Even though I know that 99% of the time, my very deepest fear will be about not being loved, I can’t just jump to that. I can’t just go from I hate my job to God won’t love me. Step 2 is all about the process of discovering how those things are connected. I have to go through the whole process. Every single time. It hurts and it’s messy and I don’t enjoy it, but if you want to move closer to the spirit of God that is truly living in your soul, you need to.
So after all that digging, we get to release our fears! We just say “Dear God. I have a huge fear of not being loved and it’s coming out as ________________, but I release this to You. Do with it what you will” and a little tiny piece of that fear will be taken away. If I had said “I release my dislike for my job” nothing would happen because that’s not my fear. I have to get at what’s scaring me and coming out as my dislike for my job. Hard work. But it needs to be done if you want contentment in your life. It needs to be done if you want to reconnect with your soul.
So with step 2, you have to keep asking yourself questions . Why are you really feeling upset about something? Why does that scare you? Keep breaking it down until you uncover what’s really scaring you. When you get down to the bottom of your fears, I’m betting your fear monster will be that you won’t be loved and you’ll be all alone. If you think it’s about what someone said or did, you need to keep digging and release it to God so He can fix it. You don’t have to fix it. That’s His job. Makes life pretty easy huh? If only it were easy.
Wishing you all the peace in the world,