Fear is the mind killer?

Boat of Sorrows; Boat of Hope by Annette Wagner

“Fear is the mind killer.”

That quote from Frank Herbert’s Dune has always stuck in my mind. I’ve niggled at it wondering why it’s stuck around as long as it has and realized it’s because of the truth contained in the idea it represents.

Fear does shut down our mind and, for me, the worst part is that it also closes the door to our heart – and that’s why this quote has stuck in my mind. When the heart connection breaks, love stops flowing through our minds and hearts and that causes all kinds of havoc to erupt in our lives.

What made me unravel this story was a little incident that happened the other day and yet it was huge in how it changed the context of how I understand fear in my life.

My man was out in the garage organizing; a necessary feat as we are now living in a much smaller house than we really fit into. He was installing overhead metal shelves to create a place for luggage and sleeping bags and such so there would be more room on the lower shelves in the garage.

I was out there organizing wrapping paper supplies, looking up at these shelves and what he was putting up there – and that is when, unknowing to me, fear snuck into my mind.

I voiced my concern about it being hard for me to get things down from up there when I needed them and the conversation derailed into an exchange about yes I would need help and how else were we going to find space to store everything if he didn’t do this and resulted in him being annoyed and frustrated with me. I left the garage feeling hurt and confused.

This is when my muse stepped in and started prodding me. Why did I react as I did? I knew he was going to put up those shelves. I knew those items were going up there. There are plenty of step ladders in the garage for me to use. Then it hit me.

I had spoken from a place of fear.

Why? Was it because I have a whacky back and can’t lift anything heavy? No. My physical limitation are an issue, however my sense was that wasn’t where the fear came from. I dug deeper. So where did the fear come from?

I had looked at those shelves and the things on them and suddenly I was back in a world in which I was alone. In which I had only myself to depend on and no one else. A world which had more constraints and less love because there was no one else to share it with. A world that did not include the blessings I have now in my life. It was a world of what if and doubt and distrust.

I was shocked. All it needed was one little glimpse of fear to bring in all of that? Ick.

Now I know why my muse kept prodding me into unraveling this story. Understanding how the fear can close down my mind and shut off my heart, explains so much about how I reacted. Doesn’t mean I am going to be suddenly perfect and never react from a place of fear again.

But maybe, just maybe, it means I will do it a whole lot less as I write my own new story about fear and it’s place in my life. About the doorway to my heart is resistant to fear closing it. How it sounds alarms when fear tries to do that. How I am more and more aware when fear tries to sneak in to derail conversations. And most of all, because love is at the center of my choices and I choose love.

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