Recently, I revisited a book The Only Little Prayer You Need by Debra Landwehr Engle. Why? Fear was at my doorstep and it was creating angst and worry.
Engle contends that most of our thoughts are rooted in fear. Some examples are:
In fact, we are bombarded by fear-based messages every day. Weight gain, climate change, kids’ accomplishments, retirement savings, pains and aches, imperfect spouse, job satisfaction, grief, etc. As Engle says, “Once you start to break it down, you see that fear is pervasive, like a cancer that’s gotten into our bones.”
Engle shares a story of how she stumbled upon this conundrum, i.e., fear is the source of what ails us. What she discovered through meditation is a reflective phrase that when said, began restoring her harmony. “Please heal my fear-based thoughts.” She lifts up the phrase to a higher power, e.g., God, Buddha, creator, spirit, etc.
The point of this, as Engle says, “is not to eradicate fear thoughts or emotions, but to shift from thought practices that are primarily fear-based to ones that are primarily love-based.”
What are examples of love-based thoughts?
The practice has worked for me. I experienced an emotional change from feeling angst to peace. I recite that phrase any time I sense fear creeping its way back into my being and move to a better place of acceptance with my thoughts. Now, it doesn’t work all the time. It takes practice to say the phrase and to be self-aware of my thoughts and emotions. Meditation and journaling are helpful, too.
I invite you to pay attention to your fear-based thoughts. When they arise, say, “Please heal my fear-based thoughts.” Pay attention to your body, mind and thoughts. You may find less irritation or gnawing in your stomach. If so, you know you’ve moved from fear-based thoughts to love-based thoughts.