Anger, Worry, Doubt and Fear
Life has periods of anger, worry, doubt and fear. They are common reactions in a complex world, and, as short term responses, may not always be a bad thing. Anger can be a protective response to danger to self or others. Worry may be a prod to prepare, or at least assess the reality of a potential situation. Doubt may be a temporary pause while a situation, resources and options are being considered. Fear, somewhat like anger, may be an immediate protective reaction. All are our mind’s call to do something in the face of challenge, and a very real part of survival skills.
The problem is when the foregoing emotions extend beyond immediate or real needs. Unresolved anger festers into resentment and hate. Worry, doubt and fear devolve into lack of confidence, stagnation, anxiety. Fear, like anger, may give rise to hate or intolerance; it may yield Self to hopelessness or subservience to the demands of another. All can eat away at the inner Self and our ability to connect and thrive.
It does not need to be so. Love’s restatement and response to emotions of anger, worry, doubt and fear would be not to keep—or ignore—them but to ask:
“What are they telling me?”
“Is there something needing attention? Do I need to let go of something?”
“What appropriate and constructive action might address the matter?”
“Does retention of the emotion help me?”
Ponder. Fear of failure often promotes that very failure, or at least a failure to act when action is appropriate. Anger over a past relives the event again and again and again. Worry and doubt live in something that may never happen, and thereby make its “effects” all too real without its every having come to pass. Do anger, worry, doubt and fear help in those situations?
Let the emotions do what they are designed to do in the short term: be flags, not habits and mere reactions. Do not embrace them. Do not be consumed by them. Do not become frozen by them. They are not impediments to moving forward but rather signals that we must.
Nod to them for bringing a matter to your attention, and then let them go. They have done their work and it is time to respond in corrective action. Typically, the taking of constructive action will itself reduce the emotional clutter. If not, or if faced with a challenge letting go, consider the mantras and ABC’S of love. In a shortened version, simply ask: Does retention of the emotion help or build? If not, understand its origin and teaching (if any), take appropriate action and drop it like a stick along the way. It has no further use.