It’s About Mindfulness

Between Fear and Desire

What you fear and what you desire are the extremes. What you need is in the middle and when you know yourself well enough to know your authentic needs then you are balanced.

Fear (extreme bad) —Authentic Needs (balance)—Desire (extreme good)

It’s now 11:39am an hour and a half after the above “AHA”. I’d go so far as to call it a “click” or life epiphany for myself. Basically, between fear and desire are authentic needs. Lately, all the time I’ve been focusing on balance and non-influence has brought on this epiphany. Just prior to when I wrote down the above, I had left the thought on my Facebook page “No matter how far the extreme, balance is inevitable.”

Which was a response not only to my personal overall experiences of my life but also in thinking of a friend who, at last message, was stuck on stand-by in an airport. The bad news email sent advised me of all the unfortunate, unhappy details of the flight home and a couple of incidents of her falling on the overseas sight-seeing tour. Which was intended as an extremely joyful jaunt courtesy and gratis of the friend accompanying her. The Universe always balances. I can see now in light of her mishaps that an “even up” is due. Swinging as far in opposite directions as my friend does though, especially emotionally, her story will likely unfold as it always has; as a drama of high, highs and low, lows. She may enjoy the drama (doesn’t seem to though) but if she could recognize to balance with the Universe she may be able to tame the extremes of her life. That’s what I did…

My life was unfolding like a roller-coaster too until I realized (and maybe only clearly just now) I am in control of these swings. So regaining center (balance) knowing well now what that is and how the outer world exists around me when I am balanced; I can go with a natural swing or sway to the way my life unfolds and adjust accordingly. Think of a pendulum. It’s hard to control in wild sway but subtle movements bring it to center and sway it smoothly. When you focus and balance, you have control of the sway between fear and desire. And you know fear is easy, you can understand how it is dangerous when out of control. You don’t recognize desire out of control until it is too late (at least for me it was). Then the Universe or karma brings you back to balance with a trauma or an ending or an accident or delays. Depending on how far you indulge the desire, investing in the emotion, becomes the equal force of down to balance up.

Again, keep it in control and you manage the sway and stay in a range of balance. But! Let “it” take control and you will inevitably soar unchecked with desire then get reigned in by an event or person when something fearful happens and then you recognize you’re out of control. How do you stop? With awareness, by meditation, retreating, pausing in thought then you get back to center. This may be the intent of the phrase “Stop the world I want to get off!” Also, living in the extremes of desire and fear- because they are connected as opposing forces- when out of control you will not sleep very well.

I reached this conclusion: while my life may not look exciting to you, I sleep soundly at night. I’m grateful and blessed to have very few troubles and very few desires. And when one or the other rises to a level where I might lose control, I express the emotion (desire) or get working on a solution (fear). Tended to right away, small problems stay easy to remedy. Waiting, ignoring or hoping it may just go away only creates a greater swing. So, having the appearance to others of a boring life is not a bad thing if your authentic needs are being met. The tools to regain control from a swing in either direction will also gift you the answer to the question: what are my authentic needs?