I've been reading Gabrielle Bernstein's newest book May Cause Miracles - A 40-day guidebook of subtle shifts for radical change and unlimited happiness.
It's a great book that helps one look at the areas of their life that are blocked and overcome with fearful thoughts and behaviours that prevent them from living a miraculous life.
The book A Course in Miracles says,
"Miracles are natural. When they do not occur, something has gone wrong."
What has gone wrong is that over our lifetime, we have built walls that block our natural ability to manifest our desires and experience daily miracles. Day by day, week by week, year by year we've chosen to have more faith in our fears.
One of the first steps Gabrielle talks about in experiencing change and happiness is to first witness our fears. At first blush, this seems simplistic and not overly important; however, it is truly a powerful practice that can be scary for some of us to do.
Think about it, how many of us have formed bad habits and addictive behaviours in order to avoid the discomforts of witnessing and feeling our fears? We would do anything to numb our pain and refuse to look at what scares us.
When in the past have you attempted to numb your fears by overeating or shopping, jumping quickly into a new relationship after a painful break-up, stayed in a relationship that no longer serves you because you cannot face the thought of being alone, or turned to sex, alcohol or drugs to push away uncomfortable feelings.
There are so many ways we refuse to face our fears and instead push them aside. I am a believer in moving past our fears and trusting in the guide of God/Universe/Source, and I believe that the first step for long term growth and to move past our fear is to first have the courage to witness them.
The ego loves our fears to stay hidden and for us to avoid looking at what scares us, and as a result, buy into the illusion that it is real and that we can never transcend it. When we witness our fears something incredible happens; we shine light on it.
And when we shine light on it, we are able to understand where it stemmed from and the hold it has on our lives diminishes and we are able to detach from it.
When I did the exercise of witnessing my fears, it was incredible to notice the little ways fear crept into my thinking and consciousness and all the areas where it was most predominant. It was interesting to see how some areas were easier to witness and move past, while other areas were more difficult.
I was able to identify the thoughts and experiences that triggered my fears and how I behave as a result. This was also helpful to me as a sufferer of OCD. I was able to witness the thoughts that triggered my OCD because I automatically go to my compulsive behaviour to numb the thoughts so I did not have to face the feeling of anxiety.
One of the treatments for OCD is exposure and response therapy whereby you are exposed to the source of your fear and anxiety but are asked to refrain from the compulsive behaviour you would usually perform to reduce the anxiety.
At first, it is very hard and sometimes impossible for someone with OCD to face, I personally know this, but the more you muster up the courage to do this, the less effect it has on your life and the more power you have to overcome it. Witnessing the fears in our everyday lives works the same way.
As we have the courage to witness our fear, the second step which I will go through in more detail in a later post is the willingness to see things differently which is what a miracle is; a shift in perception from fear to love.
When we are willing to see things differently and harness the power of our inner guide (Gabrielle refers to as ~ing), we activate a power greater than us, but within us that always responds to our willingness. We will be guided and given the strength to face, transform and overcome our fearful thoughts and actions.
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