This past Friday I had to go to have a tooth extracted and then a post for an implant put in the same space. When I went for my consultation, I could feel the fear rising up in me about what would be done and how I would make out through it all.
Now the oral surgeon did offer to put me out but I didn’t see any physical need for it for I opted for the local anesthetic. Now you may think this is a pretty brave thing to do but I can assure you I felt nothing close to brave as I walked into the OR for the dreaded procedure.
When I started looking at my fear beforehand, I really tried to understand where the fear was coming from. The thing is that fear is usually apparent first and THEN we apply it to something in our lives. So in looking at the fear, I really couldn’t find any reason to be afraid about this procedure.
But there it was when I sat down in the dental chair and watched as preparations were made. I could feel the anxiety welling up in me and so instead of letting it take hold of me as I may have done in the past, I decided to do what I always recommend to my clients – breathe!
And so there I was laying back in the chair, concentrating on my breath, recognizing that in this moment there was absolutely nothing wrong and that the worst part of the fear was the moment before I stepped in to it to face it. And sitting in that chair was that moment.
But focusing on my breath helped me to stay present, to surpass the overwhelming fear and to take that first step into it, allowing it to be what it was, allowing the fear to co-exist with my inner knowing that is wise enough to understand that there is nothing to fear.
It’s not always easy to catch yourself, to be conscious of what the ego is trying to do and how it plays with our thoughts and feelings. But with practice on the little things, we can work up to learning to be more conscious in times when it is very important to stay present.
It’s not the fear that is the problem – it’s our reluctance to acknowledge the fear that causes us so much suffering.
Take a look at some of the things you fear – allow the feeling to come up, open the door to what seems unbearable and walk through. You will find that the most unbearable point is just before walking through the “door”. Once you have taken the step, there is nothing left.
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