One of the LSBC students in the 6-week course saw something very clearly in our first week in class.
She said, “Even though we didn’t really talk about this, for some reason it clicked with me that all of my behaviors are rooted around various fears.”
She went on to list half a dozen imagined future events that her mind regularly creates and replays, as if they were real. Then she saw how her habit popped up to conveniently distract her from the terror she felt.
Isn’t that simple? Brilliant!
There was just one thing I was eager to help her see a bit more clearly. The fear she feels has absolutely nothing to do with those scary future events. She’s not afraid of developing the health issue that runs in her family, her husband leaving, depression returning, or anything else.
She’s afraid of a fictional movie.
She’s a bit too close to the screen, fully immersed, spooked by fragments of her own imagination–fuzzy images, vague memories, fictional storylines. The fear has nothing to do with what might happen to her one day. She’s afraid of the shadows cast by a totally creative thought process.
Her habits are a response to the fear she feels from these fictional movies. The movies are confused with “what might happen to me”.
When she doesn’t see this creative process for what it is–she thinks it’s about her life and terror arises–she consumes things to distract from that terror. No different from how we all might dig a little deeper into the popcorn bowl when the bad guy in the movie is about to strike.
Absolutely not one bit different from that, actually.