What is that voice of fear that stops us from experiencing our lives?
In the evolution of humans, fear has served a very important purpose-for example, ‘there is a lion behind you!’ or ‘this is a slippery ledge, I should be careful’. However, we have all had moments of fear and worry that seem to swell past their reasonable boundaries, and take over.
We all know this voice. It is the voice outside of a dangerous situation that stops us in our tracks that says things like: “What if I don’t have enough money? Did I embarrass myself? Am I talking too much? My friend is 5 minutes late, what if something happened?” In this moment where worry takes the stage in our minds and becomes the amplified voice, it squelches other opportunities for kindness, grace, generosity-and especially service.
How do we quiet this voice?
Last week I had the opportunity to ask our co-president Salima about How to Free Ourselves from Worry and this is what she told me:
“How our brain reacts to worry…it really has to be something that we become very conscious of in our lives….if we are not conscious of it, worry can take over and run our lives.
What worry actually does is it takes us away from the beauty of our lives. In Sufism, we say… ‘We have the voice of God within us’ or the voice of wisdom, and we have the voice of ourselves…we also have the outside voices, or the negativity, that create havoc in our life. Worry is one of the things that create havoc in our lives. Part of it is, if you will, taming that tiger inside.
Through the different tools we have in Sufism, and the way that our heart can turn toward God, rather than turn toward the worry, is what eventually will make the worry disappear. The more that we feed the worry, the more that it grows.
The more we can turn away and look to gratitude, look to beauty, look to ‘What is it that God is asking of me in this?’ the more we will find our happiness, and the more we will become a warrior rather than a worrier. That warrior is what is going to slay the tiger of worry.”
To hear the full audio of our question and answer session, click here.
If you would like to hear more about how Sufism can heal your worries, we have experienced members of our community available. To schedule an appointment for a free healing session, or to learn more about the University click here.
photo credit Nik Shuliahin