Lower Your Anxiety Shield
There’s a story about Star Trek’s Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, traveling through a tunnel, searching for some of the crew. They come to a point in the tunnel where Mr. Spock continues but Captain Kirk could not.
Of course, Spock has the answer, it’s an anxiety shield, meant to keep you out if you have anxiety. Of course, Kirk has anxiety…his crew is being tortured but he cannot get to them because of the shield.
The answer, the antidote is to lower your anxiety shield. Of course, Spock does not have anxiety. Kirk steps back and centers himself and gets the anxiety within to release, and the shield lowers allowing them to go and rescue the crew.
Anxiety is defined as distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.
Have you experienced anxiety, worry, lately?
Have you lowered your anxiety shield yet? I must say, I had a very good practice this week, as I lost almost all my files on Thursday. Even this message which was well on its way to completion. So, starting Thursday afternoon, after trying desperately to find the lost files, I started over, from scratch.
Luckily, I found the joke!
Anxiety is misusing our inner power; actually magnifying a personal problem into a bigger one. The more attention we give something by worrying about it, the more we bring it into our lives.
We have often heard the saying, ‘Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.’ Well, this is what we are talking about.
And when a person says that he or she is worried sick, this can be literally true. We have been reminded ourselves for some time now to watch our thoughts and words.
Worry is one of the most destructive emotions to affect the mind and body. Biologically we are not constructed to withstand long periods of time the mental processes and bodily chemical reactions created by the results of worry.
Yet, believe it or not, there is a human tendency to actually search for things to worry about. And, there is also a hesitancy to give up our worries. A psychiatrist once said that if a place were provided where people could leave their worries, they would slip back under a cover of darkness and reclaim them one by one!
SO if we leave a worry or anxiety in the jar out in the lobby before Service, we would go back and take it out of the jar after Service!
We need to change our concept about worry. We need to see worry as a potential source of good and as evidence that we love life and want to make more out of life.
If we would have faith that we are under the constant care of God, we would not be anxious. Anxiety is, in itself, a desertion of trust in God. If we keep our minds occupied with positive, constructive thoughts, we cannot be afraid.
Sometimes, easier said than done, right? We have all experienced times of worry and anxiety. How do we turn those thoughts around to something positive and useful?
Think about this….No one needs to tell healthy children to play. They run and scamper; they play make-believe; they enter into and create games. This is their nature and that is all there is to it. Children just naturally cannot refrain from playing. When they do not want to play, the adults around them know that there is something wrong with them.
And this – No one instructs the beaver how to build a dam or the bees how to swarm. A universal law of life directs the organism and indwelling intelligence to do naturally and easily that which is in their nature to do. This natural, orderly, inescapable action occurs without thought! The organism and intelligence just behave in this way. That is all there is to it, and the result is inescapable.
Jesus shows us the way. His instruction is simple and sound. You are to “take no thought” (Mt. 6:25 KJV) with regards to work, sustenance, or anything that worries you. Keep yourself centered in God, and you will naturally thrive without worry or anxiety.
In other words, seek the kingdom of God.
This means we are to give our attention to God and to making ourselves the kind of people who naturally, easily, and happily express the goodness of God. The resources of the inner kingdom include love, faith, gratitude, peace, and joy.
With this awareness, we can understand the simple, yet direct promise from Jesus: “All these things will be given to you as well” (Mt. 6:33). As we keep our attention on the kingdom within, we will receive the desirable values of life much more readily than if we pursue them directly. In fact, direct pursuit of material things loads the heart with many unnecessary burdens, which may result in our failure to attain our good desires. And maybe heart issues!
People whose inner natures exemplify the character of the kingdom do not need to worry about what they will do. Because they are human, their spiritual qualities are expressed in the elements of human living. As the child plays without giving any thought to a decision to play, so the child of the kingdom lives happily without giving anxious thought to the kingdoms’ way of life.
There is of course a difference between worry and concern. It is natural to be concerned about the peace of the world, the economic condition of the country, or the health of a loved one. These concerns are very human and understandable.
The start to aid others begins with the concern of people. God can only do for us that which God can do through us. Thus, there must be an awareness of a need—not a sense of lack that implies a belief in limitation—an awareness of a need and the concern for its fulfillment. Jesus was aware of the needs of those around Him and was concerned about remedying them.
The concern we may have over someone we love or about conditions in general is a step in the right direction. But we cannot stop with concern alone, or else we settle into the dead-end street of worry and despair. We have camped in the valley of the Shadow. The next logical step is faith in and awareness of the kingdom of God and the principles it holds for us. First comes the concern or the awareness of the need, then the healing of the concern or the awareness of God’s all-sufficiency in all things.
We step through the Valley into the Light.
The solving of a problem, the resolving of a conflict, or the removal of an obstacle is not something we must or can do by ourselves. God within us is doing the work through us.
Sometimes it may appear that there is little you can do to help a friend or loved one. On the other hand, you may see all sorts of material things you could do, and you may wonder what and how much you should do. A child of the kingdom will remember that the most helpful thing to do for others, regardless of the need, is to think positive thoughts. Anything that you may do in an outer way is but the expression of a thought. It is more important that we realize the nature of that thought.
Positive thinking might actually be a synonym for prayer. We may define prayer in many ways, but essentially it is the act of changing our thought from the limited to the limitless. “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Rom. 12:2). This must be the starting point of all prayer. Have you heard the phrase, “Every thought is a prayer?”
Prayer is not an effort toward manipulating divine law or changing God’s will. True prayer calls forth from within you the sense of God-power. You can turn the full force of this power, like a searchlight, on whatever may concern you. Let your light shine. (We are Lighthouses, right!)
You may think that you are praying only when you assume the manner and employ the words generally associated with prayer. But no matter what you call it, your concentrated thought about any subject is a form of prayer. When you think deeply about anything or anyone, even in worry and anxiety, you are focusing your energy on that thing or person. Worrisome thoughts and thoughts of anxious concern add confusion and doubt to any situation. Every day you affect your body, your business, your loved ones, and the world as a whole by the kinds of thoughts you think.
For this reason, when you are concerned about situations that affect others, first heal your own concern. When you want to help someone else, the starting point of that help must be within yourself.
The purpose of prayer is to behold the presence of God in that which concerns you. Know that God is not sick; God is not poor; God cannot be confused or out of place. Your prayer is an activity of your mind, and you must put God first in your thought. “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (In. 7:24). This “right judgment” changes the image you hold in your mind. Much as you want to help someone or something in time of crisis, the first step, and often the only step needed, is to change your thought of concern.
The words from Jesus, “do not worry” in Matthew are a command. Wee not to worry.
Complete trust in God is as much a step forward as is the loss of fear and worry. If we can develop the former, we can accomplish the latter.
A person who trusts God works with God’s harmonious plan. But a person who uses his or her thought power to worry works with the world’s confusion.
Matthew 6:33 tells us; “But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”
Rev. Ed Townley explains it this way, “Seeking first the kingdom” means that our purpose as spiritual beings sharing this human experience is to create—choice by choice—the higher spiritual consciousness that Jesus describes as “the kingdom of heaven.” Human challenges and distractions are of secondary importance. So long as our focus remains on achieving our spiritual purpose, our human needs will be met, abundantly and joyfully. Too often we feel we must solve our human problems first in order to make time and space and means to deal with the spiritual. This causes us to live from an energy of fear and anxiety. In fact, according to spiritual law, the opposite is always true. It’s only by committing to the spiritual—to making choices out of love—that we can fully experience and enjoy our human experience.”
In Sirach 30:21-25,
“Do not give yourself over to sorrow, and do not afflict yourself deliberately. Gladness of heart is the life of man, and the rejoicing of a man is length of days. Delight your soul and comfort your heart, and remove sorrow far from you, for sorrow has destroyed many and there is no profit in it. Jealousy and anger shorten life, and anxiety brings on old age too soon. A man of cheerful and good heart will give heed to the food he eats”
This powerful passage is a metaphysical reminder that, contrary to some beliefs, we are not here in this human experience to suffer, hoping for redemption sometime in the future. “Gladness of heart” is the essential attitude that will allow us to make the choices that bring a new dimension of consciousness into manifestation through us. Certainly, it is not suggested that we will not experience challenges—sometimes severe. Pain and sadness are an essential part of our spiritual journey. But ‘sorrow’ is more than sadness. It’s a lingering on sadness. “A man of cheerful and good heart” will face challenges, and feel sadness, without believing in those negative energies as real, and seeing them as something to be endured. A good-hearted man (or woman, of course) feels the pain and sadness and then looks for the guidance that will allow him/her to make the choices that will lead out of the negative and into the positive.
And lastly, in the powerful words of Charles Schulz, through Charlie Brown and Linus, “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good.”