March 19, 2020

Discerning our Relationship to Collective Fear

We know this is a time where collective fear is contagious at a much more rapid rate than any virus. So we’d like to invite you into a practice that can be of benefit during times of uncertainty.

Discerning our Fear: Some are masking their fear with responsibility. We do want to be diligent in our part of not taking unnecessary risks. But, sometimes trying to be responsible is a distraction from feeling other things that are present. (You can also do this same practice with another dominant emotion.)

  • Make space to pay attention to your anxiety and see what quality of flavor it has. (Is it panic, dread, future-oriented, some other emotion, etc.)
  • Is my fear protecting me from feeling something else, something I don’t think I can handle? (such as grief, anger and/or powerlessness) At times we’d rather be afraid than feel powerless.
  • Is my emotion trying to give me back my illusion of control? (We can often feel a lot about things rather than just surrender to the pain of what we don’t want to feel)
  • Go slow and see if you can also notice some tenderness or compassion for the different layers inside of you. Let those places in you feel that from you if possible.
  • If it’s meaningful bring your anxiety into God’s presence and speak/write honestly about how you’re doing. Invite God to hold you in it. (Psalm 103)
  • Care for your anxiety. Pay attention to the inputs that elevate your anxiety in ways that don’t serve you (social media, certain people, certain thought loops). Gently practice turning down the dial of those inputs as you are able.

[Photo by Laura Austin @ Flickr]

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