Everyone knows sex sells. Greed sells too, and again, this is something we all know. But little did we know that the really big, best seller of all is FEAR and it’s companion, dread.
Here are some current ‘epidemic’, ‘impending’ ‘catastrophe-in-the-making’, brilliantly-marketed FEARS: Fear of recession, depression, terrorists, war, disease, food, air, climate change, computer crashes, natural disasters, breast size, impotency, break-ins, drug czars and addicts, immigrants and aging.
Here I focus on an area closest to my own experience as a physician-psychiatrist: the fear of illness and dying. As you read about overcoming and transcending this fear, think of it as an effective metaphor for the other fears listed above. When you come to the end reread the piece substituting each fear.
Start with this fact: To fear our body is a powerful way to create disease. Why is this? Because fear is about being attacked and when you think you are going to be attacked you are both hard-wired and soft-wired for flight or fight. This, in simple terms, is bad for your physical health when carried on continuously or repetitively on an intermittent basis. Your body is not set up to be constantly on the alert for danger or shocked repeatedly by the unexpected. It is not necessary to go into the physiology of why this might lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even cancer. Here is the rub: If fear can be created it leads to disease thereby proving that the fear was warranted. This is every politician, salesman and businessman’s dream: to create a need for snake oil.
In the external world we no longer buy a car or a house just for comfort and to raise a family, former symbols of success and stability that they were. We now buy an alarm system surrounding a car or house to protect us from an attack that is inevitably coming.
Similarly in our internal world, in the case of fear of illness, we are taught to wait to be attacked from within by scary pathogens of all types, prions, viruses, bacteria, fungi, worms or ravaging cancerous cells. We are then inundated with words and images encouraging us to attack back with drugs and vaccines. Television sets, both advertisement and news, are now literally more like warning systems for an impending attack, even if it is a sneak attack like impotence. Get them, (it), before they, (it), get us. This simply doesn’t work to ease fear; it creates fear. In the process a lot of drugs are sold in pharmacies and in the streets, for when you are talked into fear and then become an attacker you solidify the idea that attack must be coming and complete a circle of dread. If I need one drug, then I must need another. If I attack anything I inevitably will be more afraid as I wait for retaliation.
The facts are that, as I point out in the book, your body is a perfect part of the perfect whole always healing itself. It is an error to think your body is defective or that you have a basic fault, or that you are split and separate from a perfect whole. The words you use to overcome fears are central to your sense of peace of mind and joyful living.
Focus the words you choose on wholeness and unity and thereby stop ‘buying into’ fears such as the fear of illness and the enticement to attack and demonize your body. As you see you are part of larger wholeness your immune system is strengthened so your body can naturally do what it does best, serve as an amazing communication device.
Put your attention on remembering yourself. Make it your intention to do the following simple exercise daily. With your eyes closed take a deep breath in and repeat these three phrases ten times, morning and night as you breath out: 1) I Won’t indulge in fear and I Won’t identify with my body 2) I Will love the world and I Will forgive myself and others, and 3) I Am whole and healed. I AM LOVE.
As you work these Three Words, Won’t, Will and Am, you will begin to experience recovery from their healing power.
Dr. Clark Falconer is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain. He is a practicing Psychiatrist from Vancouver, Canada and the author of the new, critically acclaimed book The Three Word Truth About Love And Being Well. To receive daily tips on the power of words follow Clark on Twitter.
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Photo credit: Lrn Megan