Saturday, September 20, 2008

Learning To Look To The Future With Hope: Not Letting My Fears Take Charge

For a few years now, I have learned (usually through running into pain I refuse to face) to keep my head down and focus only on what is directly in front of me. This pattern has served me very well in stopping fruitless forays into suicidal thinking. If it makes me that crazy, I back off.

Lately, I have begun to feel a kind of boredom and aimlessness. Part of this malaise, I'm sure was due to another dreary two weeks of having a bad cold which never completely went away.

While fighting the above, I have also had wonderful news and interactions with friends. I have been told to look forward to next year, as I will be invited to participate in a project a friend is putting together. Because my friend knows I get easily rattled, no further details have been given.

I had a feeling something like this was about to happen. God has a way of continuing to build my life in new and exciting ways. I've learned to ask few questions, beyond finding out what I am supposed to be doing, for the immediate future.

Then the business world darn near ground to a halt with the stock market in the U. S. taking a 950 point dive in one week. Since I have heard that when government money gets tight, the poor are the first to receive the financial cuts, I got very frightened.

Understanding the facts and causes of something helps me calm down. There was a great quote in The Making of a psychiatrist. He summed up his boss as follows: " could set his office on fire - and as long as he knew Why, everything was alright." (!) I am EXACTLY  like that. Information is what I need to conquer fear.

I know nothing about finance, so off to Google I went.  I wanted to see a history of stock market crashes to gage what I might have to contend with, should things continue going bad.

I discovered a series of books on finance which are collectively known as "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". These books are designed to teach folks like me basic "financial literacy", from the perspective of someone who has, or is considering gaining wealth. The first book came out in the '90's and its STILL a best seller!

I found a quote about character which has helped me sort out the fight between good and bad desires and actions. For me, it is the beginning of gaining control over my own mind.
Inside each of us is a kind person, a mean person, a greedy person, a rich person, a poor person, a coward, a crook, a hero, a liar, a cheapskate, a lover, a loser, and more.

Fromm: Rich Dad's Prophecy, Chapter 1. p 18. by Robert Kiyosaki

The key here is the thought frame of reference. Am I going to think like a courageous person, or a coward? Take a situation and consider how these two perspectives color feelings and actions.

I submit my usually completely irrational and cowardly attitude toward being on Government aid:

Cowardly self:

  • its hopeless.
  •  I'm completely at the mercy of the System.
  • I will continue to get poorer.
  • I'll be spending more money to achieve less.
  • HMO will choose to pay to let me kill myself, rather then to treat my illnesses. I heard a report of this situation already being a reality in Oregon where euthanasia is legal.
  • I solve the above by taking no action on my behalf.
  • I'll just wait for life to "have its way with me".
Courageous Self:
  • No external situation can dictate my thinking.
  •  I choose to gain emotional stability by learning how to challenge the dreadful list above.
  • I am not a victim
  • What if I do get further opportunities which could lead me off the system? A wonderful female comic used to say something completely outrageous and then cry out: "well, it could HAPPEN!"
  • God is my source of supply, not the government, or any other external situation. 
  • I am not alone
  • I am not helpless
  • I'm not sure he story about Euthanasia is true, but even if it is, God is in charge of the number of days in my life. PERIOD!
  • I will educate myself to what is out there financially, to prepare for getting off the system.
  • I will let God open any doors of opportunity. All I have to do is educate myself and plan.
  • I am capable of real courage and good character. 
  • Until lead differently, I'm going to assume, my dream of true self-sufficiency is starting to come true. 
  • I will study instead of stew when life starts to scare me.
This is where the battle for success really resides, not in your circumstances, but in your mind. I wish all of you a mental victory over whatever you fear will destroy you. 

"Yeah?", I used to scream at this kind of thinking: "well, what if it is as bad as I fear and all that bad stuff actually does happen to me? Then what, Shirley Temple?"

I still am in God's hands and He has control of the length of my life. Joining the "Ain't It Awful" club only saps my energy, kills my hope and is a waste of my (and others') time. Nothing has control over my thought-life other then me. 

I choose to think positively, if nothing else, it is good for my body not to dump all the fight/flight stress into my system.

If I end up staying on the system, I have the priceless gift of knowledge and new possibilities for personal growth because of new knowledge. I will have learned how to invest in and believe in myself. It is always easier to keep a moving object in motion instead of starting something moving from a dead stop.

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