Where there is darkness, there is also light.
Where there is fear, there is also love.
I've heard the encouraging and loving words of parents telling their kids: in the midst of tragedy, look for the people who are helping. In other words, look for the light amidst darkness, the love amidst fear.
This idea that there is always love on the other side of fear may not feel clear or even possible when you find yourself feeling fearful. Stressed, anxious, sad, shamed, guilty, angry, scared.....it's all based in fear. (All true and valid emotions, by the way, doing their work to alert you that something is not aligned with you and needs your attention).
Whenever I notice -- as soon as I catch myself -- caught up in fear, this is a reminder for me to come to my breath. I have a few go-to breath meditations I like to use but just the very simple: close my eyes and take long deep breaths -is all I truly need. Do this for as long as you need until you feel calm and can respond (as opposed to react) to the fear....and amazingly the Monster Fear becomes a much tamer beast. And in that space, I can look for the Love.
To develop the habit of letting fear be a trigger to come to my breath, I made it a conscious daily practice for a number of days in a row to notice the fears popping up in my life-- big and small....there were plenty. The house is a mess and I'm angry at all those who contributed to it. Breathe deeply. My kids are squabbling endlessly over seemingly nothing and I don't know how to get them to stop (I'm irritated). Breathe deeply. The dishes I did not use are piled in the sink (I'm resentful). Breathe deeply. My spouse made a hurtful comment. Breathe deeply. My boss was super-critical of something I put alot of effort into. Breathe deeply. The news is deeply disturbing and threatening my peace of mind. Breathe deeply. I haven't finished my class preparations and I'm running out of time. Breathe deeply.
Each of these moments created a fear for me and I practiced noticing them. I would not have considered them fear in the past but noticing them made it possible to look at them differently.
When you can make it a regular practice to notice and find your calm through your breath, you develop the ability to do this every time, especially when your fear is maximized. From a calm place, you can then make the choice to see the situations from Love-- which is really the only Truth in life. Fearful, ugly things happen but when you get to the bottom of it, you will find a lack of love that was the cause. So finding the Love is like turning on the light switch.
Look for the people helping.
Look for your Self helping.
Look for the Love.
I am the Essential Soul Mama. I am a mama, a soulful-spiritual teacher, an intentional storyteller, and a lover of stories of all kinds, in all forms. I write about parenting, natural health options, mind-body-soul connections, and anything that elevates our lives.