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All about focus

July 12, 2015

There is a great deal of power in how I think.  Note that I didn’t say how I “choose” to think, although if possible it is always a choice helping me to pull the power I prefer into action.

My thinking, it would seem, has a tendency for setting traps.  They must be traps considering how often I will find myself proclaiming how cornered I feel.  Am I truly in this predicament?  Not even close.  As I wrote about recently regarding choice, it has become more and more obvious (with experience,) my fear governs and then disarms logic and faith by telling me my choices are not desirable or there at all.  If logic is masked it becomes more difficult to remember choice is always there and when it feels as though it is not, fear is ruling the thought process.

Fear tends to lie to me.

Were it simple to seize fear and shake it until it is disarmed and I am soundly into the faith camp, my life would possibly be a great deal less complicated.  As it stands (even with a great deal of the experience on the subject,) this is not always the way an over-active mind works.

I don’t want to paint myself as fearful.  I have overcome numerous obstacles and in many areas of my life I have become fearless, rising to challenges and not blinking an eye towards the solution or adventure in front of me.  What should also be said, however, is all the fear I have overcome did not necessarily come easily.  I come from a school of hard knocks.  More than often I have hit my head (until bloodied) repeatedly on a hypothetical brick wall before I was into enough of a submission to allow the lightbulb of change and better thinking to illuminate.  Perhaps this pattern is a sign of stubbornness, perhaps it is by-product of the addictive nature I will always possess.  Letting go is not as easy for me as it might be for others and when I hold on to anything I am not open to change, I will not get to see all the choices available to me. Choice becomes limited and what I do see is likely not favorable.

Fear will win.  Fear will always win without the awareness of its existence and the willingness to recognize, walk through and explore the faith that is absent when it’s there.  What I have learned again and again through the many fearful experiences and subsequent (hopeful) growth that followed is I can recognize the evil and focus on moving my way towards the solutions, answers and freedom faith affords anyone who practices it.  When I feel faith fear becomes fightable.  When I am in faith I can steer away from the very over-thinking which could otherwise take me to the darker and far more limited places.

In fear I am limited.  In fear I become limitless.

When I am focused on what I would like to move towards, be it as nebulous as “happiness” or as specific as a new way to make a living, fear will help me to believe the worst about achieving or accomplishing my goals, seeing only the things potentially going wrong or what would be lost in order to possibly gain.  If I am focused on a potential involving hope and opportunity, change with growth, adventure and a world filled with aspects I might never have considered by drawing out my own path alone (especially if laced with any amount of the aforementioned fear,) the process becomes magical and spins a cyclical outcome for better feelings and stronger faith.

How do I change that focus?  Oddly enough faith plays here as well.  Can I recognize I am fearful and stop?  Can I arrest the thinking and evaluate it quickly and easily enough to see it is harming my progress on a path limited in size and scope?  Should I argue with fear or simply shoo it away like a fly at a picnic?  It is obvious to me when I am in fear.  I don’t feel good.  I become unhappy, skeptical, defensive and guarded.  When I am in faith I am the opposite.  The stress is not there, the happiness, the comfort and the trust of the world around me are.  I have often described my concept of a power greater than myself (God, should you choose to call it as such,) exactly this way.  With God I am in faith, without God I live in fear.

Some would argue faith and hope live in a world of fantasy vs. the reality of a world of drama and hard answers.  Problems and “situations” do exist and will happen, but with faith have a potential to become the greatest answers and growth potential in a life.  But the world tends to perpetuate fearful thoughts and scenarios, there is no denying the world has its issues.  There is no escaping the events and topics that promote and could even build fear within any of our hearts.  For me, however, it is always the smaller, more personal matters where fear truly makes its deepest cuts.  It is in the matters occupying my over-thinking that I focus my attention to steering towards the faith and hope I speak of. If I fall into fear around the world I inhabit it is best for me to follow my own advice:

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

 

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