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Monday, September 04, 2006

While I live in the tree of fear, There is no way I am going to rescue you!

The following article is based on a lesson I learned from a great man. I will call him the Wise Bear (WB). He just happens to relate to the Bear spirit also. He is a humble man with a doctorate in Psychology. We were chatting one day and he says to me, "If we boiled down all emotion, what two primary emotions would we be left with." Have you ever given any thought to this? I know I had never even explored such a thought. So, WB continues to challenge me in this course of thought. I name Love as one of them, but I can not figure out the second one. What is the true opposite of Love. If your like me, you would say Hate, but that is incorrect. But wait, what is Hate rooted in? Now we are cooking with gas; Fear. Love and Fear, the two primary emotions that give birth to all of the rest of these feelings that many of us run from. WB has me draw two trees on a napkin. I love napkin lessons. Some of my greatest revelations have come from napkins. Next, he has me label each tree trunk, one with Love and the other with Fear. He says to me "now in the branch or leaf area, write every emotion that would be fruits of that tree." Amazingly, my mind became alive, on fire, and I started to scribble down numerous emotions.

I have taken this exercises into the classroom and used it with at-risk kids, parents, wilderness instructor students, and in a juvenile intervention instructors course. The response has been amazing. One of the issues that has come out of this exercises is that 100% of the time everyone can identify more negative (Fear based) emotions than positive (Love based) emotions. When we react to our environment from the fear tree, we will only reap other fear tree responses. If we react with emotions from the Love tree we create an opportunity for positive responses. I should comment that some people respond negatively to Love. I think one reason for this, for many, Love is so foreign that it is seen as a threat. I am still hashing this area out myself. However, as long as I live in the fear tree, I will constantly get harsh, unproductive, and negative results. This exercises has opened many eyes to the fact that most of their life they have lived in the fear tree. Using negative emotion to try and facilitate positive change. It's not going to happen folks! I challenge you to grab a piece of paper and draw two trees, label them, and start identifying the emotions that go to each. Then you need to start making a conscious choice about which tree you want to live in. You may just start developing a level of compassion for the reasons others act they way they do. But remember, as long as you are in the fear tree, do not expect to rescue anyone, perhaps not even yourself.

2 comments:

Barrett, M said...

This post rocks. Very insightful and useful. I think I have strung up an El Salvadoran hammock between the two trees and just sway in the breeze. I probably don't climb into either tree and therefore don't have either emotion ruling my life. There is an updside and a downside to that approach too.

Talking Bear said...

Thanks for the positive feedback barrett, m. Your are funny with your hammock humor! But I think you know that I know why you have chosen this course of action! What do you think are some of the up and down sides to your approach?

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