Goldie Locks and the Three Bears is a fairy tale about comfort zones. We like our beds not too hard and not too soft, but just right. Our bodies do not like to be hotter than this or colder than that. Staying the same, or stasis, feels safe and secure. It’s the state of what we’re used to, what feels comfortable. And yet … all this comfort comes at a price. We must give up growth or movement in order to stay the same. Stagnation is a definite drawback.
One dictionary definition of stasis (per Dictionary.com): “a state or condition in which there is no action or progress.” The Latin origin of the word is “to cause to stand.” Standing our ground feels stable and secure. It is balance between two opposites. But it doesn’t get us anywhere. Stasis and movement are opposite things, we shift weight from one leg to the other to walk. This requires giving up the perfect balance, at least temporarily.
As uncomfortable as it might be, let’s face it; staying the same is not an option on Planet Earth where the only constant is change.
A tale of perhaps Native American origin, some say Cherokee, goes something like this: A grandfather is speaking to his grandson about the fight between two inner wolves. One wolf is made up of all things evil and hateful and the other, of all things good and loving. The bad wolf fights the good wolf, all of the time. The grandson asks which wolf wins, and Grandfather replies, "The one I feed the most."
Unwittingly we find ourselves feeding the bad wolf every day. Everywhere one turns, there are cautionary tales to heed. Under the guise of being helpful, a chorus of voices constantly warns us to be aware, (beware) of a myriad of things—from illnesses to terrorist threats, and everything in between. We live in a complicated world where criminals and scam artists are poised, ready to steal identities, hard earned savings, and ultimately, our peace of mind. We need to be aware of our surroundings in back alleys, in shopping malls, and in our cars. We are told of ways to keep our children safe, and worse, what may happen if we don’t.
Bottom line, no matter how well-intentioned, all these warnings conjure up mental images that reinforce our worries. Much of our attention is focused on the negative, and thus we feed it and make it grow. By constantly searching the radar screen for dire things to avoid, we are all the more likely to find them. Or they find us. Fear emits a signal that draws a like result. The bad wolf grows stronger.
Hate is energy and it expands what you hate or fear. Love is also energy and it is stronger and more powerful than hate. How to make love grow? Here are just a few ideas, among many. Think happy thoughts. Play your favorite music, Meditate. Go for a stroll. Hug a loved one. Visit nature. Practice gratitude. Dwell on the good things in life.
Feed the good wolf, and thereby starve the bad one out of existence.
Feeling Safe in an Unsafe World
With all the things going on in the world today, safety seems to be up for everyone. Yet safety/security has always been a core issue deep within the hungry belly of humanity. We come into this world unable to survive on our own. We are naked and vulnerable. We seek a safe haven in our parents’ arms, having no choice but to trust those arms will be strong and loving. Eventually we replace our parents with other forms of security and ways to survive—a decent paying job, a nest egg in the bank, a warm, cozy house, a good health insurance plan. We also seek emotional security in friendships, marriage, and other relationships. However, none of these external forms of refuge are failsafe. Even the best of parents and other loved ones let us down at some time, and/or die; jobs end; all forms of financial security are easily lost, stolen, or frittered away.
The harsh reality remains that there are no guarantees in life. In the blink of an eye everything can be altered forever. Despite all our heroic efforts to seek shelter from potential harm, death is always only a heartbeat away. One could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Mother Nature snuffs out scores of lives via hurricane, flood, fire, and earthquake on a regular basis. A mugger is poised to accost his next victim right around the corner. And even if we manage to escape accident or misfortune, illness waits in line to get us in the end. Nobody makes it out of this world alive. How safe is that?
If there is no such thing as safety in a material/physical sense, on a spiritual level, there is always safety. When we come to understand that this life as we know it is not all there is, then we see that no harm or loss is ever permanent. Though death may seem the worst fate that can befall us, it only means we lose a body that we will eventually shed anyway, one way or the other. The spiritual self, on the other hand, does not die. That’s the basis of most of the world’s religions. It’s a concept that cannot be proven via scientific means. It defies, or rather, transcends, logic and must be accepted on faith. We have faith in gravity, knowing that we will not suddenly fly up into the air. We have faith that the sun will come up again each morning. The moon will stay in its orbit, guiding the tides to rise and fall. As we watch the seasons change and the perpetual cycles of birth, death, and transformation, we can rest assured that we, too, are a part of the continuing circle of life. Our form may change, but the essence of our true self lives on.