Bears in the Woods?

Our family went to the "wilds" of Indiana for Christmas. Mike's parents live on 4 beautiful acres wooded with oak, maple, and other trees that were in a state of perfect winter nakedness. During the day, five-year-ole John loved to explore the snow-covered back yard, looking at rabbit tracks and building snow-lizards with the guys.

But at night, he was having a hard time going to bed. At first I thought it was the three-hour time change or the "strange" bed. But then he 'fessed up: he was afraid of the bears in the woods.

There were no bears in the woods, as I logically and confidently explained. I pointed out that he had been all over the yard, seeing several different animal tracks, but nothing more frightening than a deer had wandered through the yard.

Have you ever noticed that logic rarely has an affect on fear? Fear is illogical, an animal thing that cannot be explained away with human reason.

Lately, I have felt an unreasonable tension underlying the very tone of my life. It's a phantom thing, much like John's bears. I've felt off-kilter, out of whack, dissatisfied. Because I have a base of spiritual practice, I now recognize the phantom, can quietly say, "hello," and let it be.

I no longer have to dance with the fear, give it energy, life. I can simply let it be what it is. I have learned to give power to the good in my life and let the phantoms rest. How?

I know that what I pay attention to, I energize. Shall I dance with the demons or with the angels? At times, the shadows do seduce me. I forget what a powerful creature I am. I forget the good in my life and focus on "what's wrong here." I forget that I'm a child of God.

As in everything, I have a choice. And only I can choose. Only I can remember my own truth. No one can do it for me.

You are the only person who can live your truth. Are you dancing with the shadows or the light? You do have a choice.

And if you begin to feel stalked by the imaginary bears in the woods simply say "hello" and let them be. You don't have to engage with them. The choice is yours.


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