If you found yourself on a battle field with bombs going off and bullets flying, it would be natural to respond to the threat. Your adrenaline would be high. You would keep your head down, look for cover and do everything you could to protect yourself and stay safe.
But what would happen if you discovered the bullets and bombs were not real? What if they were an illusion that your fear created, how would your behavior change? First, you would take a deep breath and relax. You would stand up, look around and see things you would never have seen laying low for cover. You could be a role model for all the others that believe the bullets are real and offer to help them stand up and test their own reality.
On a real battle field the bullets and bombs are real, but on the emotional battle field they are not. When we develop, we cannot discern between real physical danger and emotional danger. Falling down on the play ground and skinning your knee can end up feeling the same as being yelled at by a parent.
The truth is, that there is no such thing as emotional danger. But to know that is true, you must stand up on the battle field. Until then, the bullets are real.
My journey to find out if the bullets were real are chronicled in my book at www.voice of fear.com. The only way to find out for yourself is to stand up on the battle field. In other words, open your arms and let the bullets find their target. The world was believed to be flat until someone had the courage to challenge the illusion and sailed over the “edge.” The four minute mile was thought impossible by science before it was broken in 1954, then sixteen other runners broke the barrier that same year.
The bullets come in all shapes and sizes: loneliness, rejection, abandonment, embarrassment, un-lovability, humiliation and so on. The next time one of those bullets comes your way, don’t run for cover and get defensive, stand tall and open your arms and see if the bullets are real. Imagine how your life would change if you found out they were not.