NTI Matthew 14:1-9 Fear was made to keep you from joining with God.
The ego tells me fear stories all the time, one after another. The more attention I pay to the thoughts flying around in my mind, the more I notice that all of the ego stories are designed to keep me in fear. Matthew 14 explains why this is. The part of my mind identifying itself with ego is using fear to keep my attention and prevent me from seeking other counsel.
One of the reasons I seldom watch television news is because newscasters use fear to keep us coming back. They milk every news story for all the fear angles they can come up with for as long as they can keep our attention. They know that if they scare us we will spend our day thinking about what they told us and we will be back at the next newscast. This is the way the ego works. We give our attention to an ego story and are hooked by the fear it elicits. Then we cultivate that fear by thinking about it and allowing in more ego thoughts which embroidery the idea and pretty soon we are waiting breathlessly for the next fear thought.
I am getting near the end of the long, long process of remodeling my house. I noticed a thought that as I get nearer the end, my bank account is getting lower and lower. As I gave my attention to that thought, I noticed another thought; what if I run out of money before I finish? After all this time, what if I cannot move in because I am short of the money needed to finish? I feel a tightening in the center of my belly. I feel my jaw tense up and my neck as well. Now the fear stories start to snowball.
As my building fund diminishes I realize that whether or not I finish the house soon I will not have a cushion to fall back on. This will be the first time in over a year that I will have to live strictly within my means. I start thinking about how the financial situation is affecting my job and what that could mean to my income, and for the first time I am thinking of it as a crisis as are so many others. From here the fear stories get completely out of hand and go off in every direction.
Is it fun to sit around thinking about all the scary things that could happen? It doesn’t make me happy so why do I do this? Why do I start to feel like it is out of my hands, that I cannot stop myself? Why do I keep going back to the ego’s scary stories even after I understand what is happening? Matthew 14 is helping me to understand the draw to fear and the reason I am so reluctant to let it go. I am very much identified with the ego mind. Once in a while I think of myself as Christ, but most of the time I am Myron with little thought given to my true identity.
If I think I am this ego self, holding onto that self becomes a matter of life or death. If I am identified with ego, then I must believe that giving up ego is giving up self. What is a little (or a lot) of fear if it saves my life. Now I begin to see the value I have placed in fear. From the ego point of view it is keeping me alive, it is keeping me intact. And I have become so accustomed to living a life of fear that most of the time I don’t even notice it is happening.
Now that I understand the value I have placed on fear, how do I withdraw that value? Fear stories are so compelling and I have been doing this for so long that just thinking about giving them up overwhelms me. The ego jumps in and tells me that I can’t do this and starts weaving a fear story around giving up fear stories! Good grief! As I turn my thoughts to the Holy Spirit I am able to step out of the sticky web of ego deceit and remember that the Holy Spirit never leaves me comfortless. He never fails to guide and direct.
NTI Matthew 13:22-36 says:
Although I can help you with fear, it is you that must overcome it. For it is your fear, and I cannot take that which is yours from you. You must willingly let go of your fear.
Once again, the Holy Spirit reminds me that I am not alone, I have help. He also reminds me that first I must do my part, and then He will do His. My part is always to give my willingness to being helped. I only have to change my mind about what I want. This is all I have to do. I don’t have to make myself stop being afraid; I only have to want to be free of fear. To do this, I am noticing the fear thoughts and remembering they are just stories and I don’t have to listen to them. I just keep doing this over and over. This is helping me to loosen my grip on these thoughts, and to increase my willingness to let them go.
Then I am asking the Holy Spirit to correct my thinking. I know there is another way to see all of this, and the only reason I am not seeing it is because I have fastened my attention to the ego story instead. I think my fear is going to protect me, but I am willing to be wrong about that. I am willing to see this differently. That’s it. That is all there is to it. Just repeat as necessary. 🙂