Welcome toWeek 3 of the Cultivating an Amicable Relationship with Fear series. How did your inquiry go with the questions asked in last week’s newsletter? How has your week been?
There are two weeks left to book online with me with a 30% discount! Are you curious to deepen your understanding of how your fear, anxiety, excitement or anticipation are coloring the way you see the world?
The Skill Set of Discernment
Discernment is necessary to take risks without causing yourself undue harm. Harm can mean literally harming yourself. It also means the harm you can cause yourself with decisions that end up with you feeling disappointed or rejected because of an unspoken expectation of yourself or others.
Mastering discernment includes:
- The ability to identify what feeling is present for you at any time.
- The ability to choose to be curious instead of afraid.
- The realization that you have choices rather than insisting that you ‘can’t’ or that you ‘have to’ or ‘should’.
Mastering the skill of discernment requires enough self-awareness to allow the knowing of when you are reacting rather than responding (see week 1) and that you have the availability to let go of an adamant stance (see week 2).
Why is discernment so important?
In the crucible of this pandemic and the resulting quarantine, we have been exposed to so much conflicting information. Not only that, but this virus is a new one on the planet. We get the dubious opportunity to see how managing discernment with something new works. We get to see how we define authority.
A challenge I see with so many of us is that we buy into the idea that the voices of authority know it all and, If we just do what authority says, we will kick this virus to the curb and get to get back to our lives. When the information changes, we then look to that authority and blame them for not being accurate. This can result in questioning our own ability to discern accurately.
When you agree (whether overtly or covertly) with an authority figure, do you blame them if their suggestion for action does not succeed?
Are you able to listen to an authoritative statement with curiosity rather than jumping to an instant conclusion?
Are you able to glean whether information is mostly data or is it rhetoric that is aimed to have your fear be the loudest voice for you to listen to?
Did you answer ‘yes’ to the 3rd question above? This is being adept at the skill set of discernment. The result of this can provide perspective.
I hope this week supports you and yours to navigate your lives with ease and sweetness.
Blessings from Kim
In the name of perspective, I think that this Facebook post that was shared with me is relevant enough to share with you all.
For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900.
When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed.
Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.
When you’re 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy.
When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.When you’re 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million.
At 52, the Korean War starts and 5 million perish.
At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. 4 million people die in that conflict.
Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.
Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that?
A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.
Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.
(And to think, some people today are about to riot because they are being asked to wear a mask at Costco…)