Whether human or animal, one of our most fundamental and primal instincts is that of survival. Kill or be killed. Hunt for food or starve. Seek shelter or suffer in the cold. Protect ourselves and our families. All of these examples were very real circumstances for westerners before the industrial revolution, and are still very real for people in many parts of the world. However, in today’s westernized society, we haven’t had to fight for survival like that in a very long time. And yet, we live in a near constant state of fight or flight — the survival instinct.
Michael Singer, like many other modern day spiritualists, talks about this very phenomena in his book, “The Untethered Soul.” He dives into our tendency toward attachment and how we allow ourselves to be controlled by our mental and emotional energy. And for what? What exactly are we clinging to? Negative emotions like fear, worry, guilt? How exactly does that serve us? And what exactly are we protecting? Why are we holding onto those feelings? Let’s just leave ’em.
Singer observes how we often continue down a path of devolution into a state of self-protection to avoid these feelings. Most of us protect ourselves in some way daily, thus avoiding life itself. We’re hyper-vigilant about whether or not someone or something is going to disturb us. As Singer puts it, “Every place you go there’s someone trying to get your goat. Why not let them have it. If you don’t really want it, then don’t protect it.”
I was recently engaged in a conversation with a friend about worry. She tends to worry as a means to be ‘prepared’ for life. Is that how we see life now, as some battle for which we must prepare? Do you find yourself playing the role of Bear Grylls in your own version of Man vs. Wild Thought Patterns? Do you get sucked down a rabbit hole and lose yourself in harmful emotions like fear and worry? Do you get caught up in destructive though patterns that spiral so deeply, you aren’t you anymore?
If so, examine whether or not you’re truly in immediate danger. If you aren’t, try to let go of the energy that brought you to your mental battlefield. It’s as easy as that, just let go. Drop it like the hot hard-boiled egg I didn’t allow sufficient cooling time for. Breathe, take a seat in your soul, and let them have your goat.
– Your Charmed Yogi
Photo credit: h.koppdelaney