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ASK MERRILY/Terror and the Ego

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Jul 30,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,
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Photo by Flickr/Free-Secret-Life<br />
Photo by Flickr/Free-Secret-Life
"When we face a major change, life activates a coin-flipping experience of terror and
empowerment. When the terror side is up, we experience pure terror. We must stay with
it - not fighting, analyzing, or running away - and keep breathing. It feels like the dark
night of the soul."

Interesting times. Yesterday I walked in the woods and got gripped with the first bonafide terror I've felt since accepting a buyout and applying for a new job in another part of the country. It was strong and frightening, but I am not backing away.  I need to do this.

Why is my ego not happy with this development?

Dear Terror,

If a coin doesn’t have two sides, there is no coin.  

When we face a major change, life activates a coin-flipping experience of terror and empowerment.  When the terror side is up, we experience pure terror.  We must stay with it - not fighting, analyzing, or running away - and keep breathing.  It feels like the dark night of the soul.

When the coin flips (of its own accord), we experience empowerment.   We are so relieved.  But, eventually the coin turns again, and we are back with terror.  Then empowerment.  

This back and forth experience is normal as we face major change (loss of job, illness, divorce, a move, death).  We cannot choose not to experience both sides of this coin.

Your ego's fears are valid and need to be acknowledged.  The ego has protected you all of your life and deserves a little gratitude and consideration.  

This exercise allows the ego to voice its fears when terror shows up – often at 3 a.m.  On a notebook page, write the title, My Fears.  Draw a line down the middle.  On the left side, list your fears without editing.  Let them just fly out of you and onto the page.  As you write, you will gradually hear another part of yourself begin to answer your questions.  Write these answers on the right side of the page.
 
For example, from my own page: How can I live without a paycheck from the school system every two weeks?  Answer: ‘Pay yourself every two weeks.’  I laughed.  That's how this process works.  It's remarkable.

Bonus: the terror travels down the arm through the pen and onto the paper.  You will feel enough relief to sleep.  

I am interested to hear your experience with terror, empowerment, and your fears.

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks. Email questions to askmerrily@yahoo.com, or use online form at www.anintentionallife.com



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