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
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
Copyright 2004-2006 Shelly Walker, All Rights Reserved