My daughter and I took my grandchildren, Nicolas and Isabella, to Gatlinburg this past weekend. It was wonderful. What a great time we had … at least until we decided to take the chair lift up to the top of Alpine Mountain for the mountain slide back down. The chair lift is a series of two seater swings pulled up the mountain side on a big steel cable. My daughter and I each took a seat with a child apiece. Nicolas, my six year old grandson, had a freak out on the swing. He was terrified. He would shut his eyes tight and wail in terror. I would say, “Nicolas, sweetheart, open your eyes and look around … it's the story you're telling yourself that makes you afraid – the scary thing is in your mind. Look around you … there's nothing scary happening here…..” etc.
And then, for a few minutes he would … He would open his eyes and get interested in the wonderful world of sights around him – he'd get to watching the kids going down on the slide or the creek running below … and then the swing would hit a bump and he would close his eyes tight again and go back into that terrifying inner space where he would run all sorts of scary story in his head.
This is what we all tend to do. We close our eyes to the reality of the present moment and listen instead to the terrifying story we're running in our mind;
“Omigod, I don't have enough money to survive … what if he leaves me … I'm not going to be able to make it … they're trying to hurt me … any minute I'm going to fail – I'm doomed!”
On and on the stories run.
When you find yourself having a freak out, just “open” your eyes … come back to into the present moment and see the peace and abundance available here now. Terror is created by a mind invested in denying reality. Reality is always peaceful and kind.