The ballad of fear and pain

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous. That some one or something is likely to cause pain, or is a threat. One of the biggest motivator of fear, is fear of the unknown.  Another is fear of failure. Combine these two fears and we have a situation that befalls many of us in today’s society. We fear the unknown of failure. So what most of us do with this fear is to runaway from it. We end up seeking solace in our comfort zone or consolation in inaction in a time of distress or sadness.

This though is just a distraction. Temporary. Because we have not dealt with the cause of our fear. We just bury it in our subconscious. Our subconscious never forgets and works tirelessly to remind us of the things we run away from. And this reminder manifest itself in pain full episodes lead by the mind.

Pain can be seen as mental, emotional or physical suffering or discomforts caused by illness or injury. It’s also involves making careful efforts or taking great care or trouble to ensure something is done adequately or efficiently. A ballad is a story, a poem or narrative, passed down throughout the ages. Most of us have a narrative or story to tell, about our pain. It maybe a pain of our own doing or the pain we experienced from people or circumstances. Either way how we deal with the pain dictates our recovery and our education around how we deal with future pain.

The legend of guitarist Robert Johnson was taken from an old African legend where a protagonist met the mythical devil at a divergence in a road. This divergence was and is called a cross-roads. A cross-road in our lives occur when we are faced with a monumental decision.

Regularly we stand at the junction at the cross-roads of a decision. Decisions that can affect us on our jobs, among our peers and family or between us and a significant other. In this life we are faced either with difficult challenges or challenges that are “easier” to make. Easier to make but not trivial,  even though they appear easy.

Most if us trivialize the easier challenges by ignoring them. Most of us run away from the difficult challenges. Failing to deal appropriately with either decision is impact full, because they keep recurring. 

According to the Alchemist from the book of the same name, continually ignoring or turning from the “signs” or challenges that the universe sends us, is another step closer to us moving away from our “personal legend”.  This personal legend is our purpose on life. The universe gives us but a few opportunities to act, before slowly stop sending us these signs.  

Continually looking at how other people live their lives is what we do when our individual challenges pop up. We each stand at the cross-roads of life, stand at the top of a cliff of decision making, watching others doing what they do and not knowing what or how their decision impacts THEIR lives.

We see them seemingly motoring through like a boss and want some of what they have. We focus on them and not us. Thus we ignore or turn away from the choices that impacts OUR lives. Until failure to deal with them impacts our lives. We don’t like our jobs? Change it. We don’t like what we eat? Change it. We don’t like something about our reputation or image? Change it. We don’t like the direction our relationship is going? Change it. But If we continually end up in situations that appear the same then we need to change ourselves. Because it is not the situation but our unwillingness to change our behavior. Our continual ignoring or turning away from making the difficult decision is why we keep doing the same thing, getting the same results and wondering why nothing changes.

Among the many signs the universe sends us are flesh and blood guides. In the book the Alchemist, the lead character is always sent signs when he appears to falter on his journey to achieve his personal legend. He always followed them,  but while doing so, often come across people who ignored or turned away from their own signs. Those people end up lamenting the missed opportunities and end up being unhappy.

Turning away or ignoring the opportunities from our challenges creates recurring pain; mental, emotional or physical. It’s the proverbial jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. The pain is real. But guess what? We also ignore or trivialize that pain as well.

Deep down we know we are not realizing our personal legend. We know because we question the situation we end up in based on whether the choice we make was to turn away or ignore the challenges. When the pain of missed opportunity pops up and we ignore it, it seeks residence in our subconscious. And grows.

It’s the little steps. The little decisions that conquer mountains. If we fail to allow the “process”to properly pan out. If we fail to follow the process. We usually end up worse than the previous time. Yet the universe sends us more signs and we ignore them still. Sometimes we end up in a situation that offers us the best chance realize our petsonal legend. But by then we are so used to turning away and ignoring the signs, that we end up missing an even greater opportunity to grow.

The war is between you and yourself. You need to have faith.  Your  character defines your success,  success does not define who you are. If so you will always be looking for that character building outside of yourself.

Everything we do comes from making a decision. Don’t confuse making a decision with chosing a preference. Deciding on facing your challenges is the first step towards making a commitment. A commitment is what takes us from no decision to dealing with challenges effectively for personal growth. Choosing a preference is how most of us deal with challenges.  By turning away and ignoring them.

The pain of making the difficult decision is a temporary one that does not grind on your subconscious. Unlike choosing a preference that never eliminates the challenges, but continually grinds on you. You can see evidence of this in people we encounter in life. Bitter, sadden, angry, wistful and broken.

Do you want to get better? Do you want to improve yourself?  Stop looking for a short cut by chasing the green grass on the other side.  Often as soon as you come close,  you realize it astro turf. By then you already jumped over fence and jarred the hell out of your knee’s, landing on green covered concrete. Which is really what astro turf is.

Landing on green covered concrete is creating greater pain than you expected. So what do you do? Do you look back over the fence, too ashamed or proud to go back over? Most of us are, because we fear what others would say about our original choice in jumping at the illusionary preference over the real decision.

Bit that too is fear of the unkown. Pain is a part of life. It’s what we do in the face of pain that defines us and dictates our growth.  Because it changes us. One way or another. For the good or the bad. Every painful choice you make is not fun, but it’s there to warn and to develop something in you. It can only develop you by taking you through the tough times.

Sometimes we make poor choices. Get in over our heads with bad spending and financial decisions. Get into relationships we know is not good for us. Get into a job that may seem lucrative up front, but frays our nerves continually. Follow our “friends”, who turn out to be more cheerleaders and enablers than supporters and encouragers. Either way we have deal with the consequences of our choices.

Anybody can give up. Anybody can run away. But all that does is waste your pain. We need the pain for growth. The pain of making the choice to either jump or remain on the cliff because of doubts and fear and choosing to turn away. The pain is there to increase you, empower you and develop you. Difficulties are part of life. So stop telling yourself you can’t take it. Or stop telling yourself that your preference is not so bad, when it keeps slapping you upside your head.

Recognize the signs. Open yourself to making the difficult choices, when faced with difficult challenges.  There will always be forces trying to convince us to settle. Settling is a preference because we never believed we could win, grow, make positive changes and succeed. The signs that often lead us to our personal legend, often end up being buried under low self-esteem, discouragement, divorces, job loss, social ostracizing and the continual ignoring and turning away from them.

Sankofa means to look to the past in order to learn from previous mistakes OR success. Don’t dwell on the mistakes though.  But bring the success forward to now. Build on it and grow from it. Why ignore 90 percent success, because you are focused on the 10 percent that seem to irritate you the most.

The ballad of fear and pain is about making difficult choices over taking easy preferences. The universe will continue to send you signs until you run out of opportunities.  Once you run out of opportunities, you stop growing and stagnate.

It’s not that difficult to overstand. The universe is love. And if the universe loves us,  we have to be aware of our conscious decisions in ensuring it continues to love us. Or risk being ignored because we refuse to take a little pain for long-term gain.