Fear, Anger, Hope, and Presence – Choose Presence

By January 12, 2022Articles

Fear is a powerful and useful emotion that saves us from all sorts of danger. Yet fear is also an act of imagination. For in fear, we are always imagining something that can happen in the future but has not yet occurred. It could be imminent in the next moment or farther away. Yet fear is always about something that has not happened yet. The more real and more dangerous you perceive the threat. The greater your fear will be. What we fear is almost always well founded. There are reasons for us to fear what we fear. However, whatever it is that we are afraid of has not happened yet. If it had happened, we would either be in the midst of the experience we feared and experiencing injury and pain. Of if the feared experience has already occurred, we are experiencing sadness, anger, and grief but not fear.

An example. Standing next to a cliff, we fear falling off. After falling off, we no longer fear falling off the cliff. Instead, we fear hitting the ground. Hitting the ground, we are no longer afraid of hitting the ground, it has happened. Now, we experience injury and pain. Should we survive more than a few moments, we will experience sadness, anger, and grief. Then we may fear the future consequences of our injuries…

In fear, we project a possible outcome into the future with our imagination and then react to it. If our perception of the danger in the situation is accurate, and we react appropriately, we just might save ourselves or someone else. If we become overwhelmed by fear, we may fail to act or react hastily and poorly creating even more problems.

Anger is also about something that is not happening right now in the present moment. Anger is about the past. Anger is our response to something, someone, some action or event that transgressed our boundaries. All humans have many boundaries including those protecting our personal bodies and physical selves and our emotional states, mental beliefs, and morality. Our anger helps identify, defend, and restore our boundaries. Typically, after an injury of any type hurts us, we feel sadness and also anger. Our anger helps us to reestablish our broken boundaries. However, our anger can easily blind us and make all of our problems far, far worse. It is also incredibly easy to react to an incorrect or partial perception of events creating an overreaction. Uh oh…

The problem with anger is. Anger is about the past. It already happened and it is done. We cannot change what has already occurred. We might be able to change how the events of the past are viewed or experienced in the present moment, but we cannot actually change the past. It is past.

We can only change the present. That is where we live, in the moment. This moment, and this moment, and this moment, and a long stream of unique moments, these make up the substance of our lives.

If we want to change things we need to act in the present moment. Afterall, that is all there is. Oddly we can be distracted from the present moment by focusing our minds on imaging the future and digesting the past. Our dreaming or hoping for a bright future and digesting the past are essential. Yet it is only in the present moment that we can change anything. It is our actions and decisions moment to moment that impact our lives and create the future we want.

If you want to impact the present moment the best way to do that is to be present. Be present by stopping focusing on the past and on the future. Instead focus on the present moment and controlling your own response to the demands of the moment.

By the way, this is how you don’t get hit by the other person. When other people throw punches, you can only dodge them if you are present in the moment. If you are thinking about the past. If you are thinking about the last punch, kick, or throw, well then you just got hit, kicked, and thrown again. If you are fearfully imagining what will happen instead of actually moving your head, you are going to get hit.

When we spar, where we want to be is playing in the present moment without anger, fear or hope. Simply be present and the moment itself will present opportunities. In fact, if you are present, you find there are opportunities and dangers in every moment. The opportunities blossom like flowers and then close and fall away. Moment by moment if you are present and ready you can harmonize with moment and seize the opportunity it presents. If you are blinded with anger over the past or fear of the future, you are unlikely to have the true genius of your being at your disposal. However, if you can be present without fear, anger, or hope and focus clearly on the full picture of the dangers and opportunities of the present moment you can balance, dodge, and surf the moment to your success and joy. Without the hope, fear, and anger each moment is far more likely to be naturally filled with playful joy.

Decide to enjoy the fall, after all, you paid for the for the wingman suit, clifftop ride, and friendly push!

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