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Why Does The Mind Think Thoughts That Scare Us?

By Dr. Margaret Paul
July 31, 2018

Do you have problems stopping scary thoughts that cause fear and anxiety?

fearMany people have worked for years in therapy, in spiritual groups, or with meditation to learn how to have control over their mind. Yet many of these people continue to struggle with the fear and anxiety that comes from unwanted and scary thoughts - often about what they did wrong in the past, what bad things could happen in the future, and that they are not good enough to be loved. Why does the mind persist in these thoughts when they make us feel so awful?


What Protected Us Now Hurts Us

Our programmed mind - our wounded self - came into being to protect us from the things that we could not handle as children. One of the scariest feelings we may have had as infants and children is helplessness. As infants, if someone didn't come when we cried, we could have died of starvation or loneliness. As children, helplessness over emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect was terrifying. We developed various protections against feeling helpless to attempt to create some sense of safety. The protections we developed worked to stave off the pain we could not manage.

Today, because the feeling of helplessness may be associated with the infant fear of dying, you might find yourself continuing to turn to the old protections you learned as a child to feel safe from the pain. The problem is that it is these protections themselves that are now creating much of your fear and anxiety.

Predicting Bad Things Takes Away Uncertainty

One of the things our wounded self hates is uncertainty. Yet in today's world, we have a lot of uncertainty, and we feel helpless over it. Our wounded self, rather than feel this helplessness over others and outcomes, creates a feeling of power and certainty by focusing on the bad things that can happen. Paradoxically, our wounded self would rather think it has control over bad things happening by predicting them, than live with the uncertainty.

In addition, many of us grew up with parents who worried a lot, believing that worry stops bad things from happening. My mother worried constantly, and nothing bad ever happened to her. She firmly believed that it was her worry that protected her, even though my father never worried and nothing bad ever happened to him either. The price my mother paid for worrying was huge: constant anxiety and unhappiness, and frequent anger resulting from these feelings. She never felt safe.


We Can’t Feel Safe Without A Spiritual Source of Love

My mother never felt safe because she didn't believe in a spiritual source of love, so she had no spiritual source to turn to in stressful times. She couldn’t ‘let go and let God.’ On her own, all she knew to do was worry and ruminate to try to have a sense of control.

But "letting go and letting God" may create the very feelings of helplessness and uncertainty that the wounded self hates to feel. So the wounded self may continue to attempt to think scary thoughts to regain a sense of control and certainty, even if it is about bad things happening. Since the wounded self came into existence to have control, it HAS to continue to try to control to continue to exist.


A Positive Form Of Control

In order to move beyond the fear and anxiety that results from negative thinking, we need to give our wounded self a new form of control. We need to recognize that the old forms are not working and be willing to let go of trying to control people and outcomes with negative thoughts. Instead, we need to give the wounded self a new job description - controlling through positive thoughts!

Giving our wounded self a positive form of control through positive thoughts can pacify this need to control, enabling us to open and allow the truth and goodness of Spirit to flow through us.

What if your wounded self believed that positive thoughts give it even more control than negative thoughts? My wounded self was happy to jump onboard with this new form of control. She’s very creative with her positive thoughts and has completely stopped scaring me!

Giving your wounded self this new and powerful way to “control,” while opening and allowing the truth and love of Spirit to flow through to you, is what creates a deep sense of safety.

Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with "Frequency: Your Spiritual Guidance & The Art of Manifestation," A 30-Day at-home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Join IBVillage to connect with others and receive compassionate help and support.

Photo by ghwtog


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