Just Give Into Terror. Not.
There’s a reason terrorism is called terrorism.
It’s in the word: “terror.”
Terrorism is an act meant to instill unearthly terror into the the hearts and minds of normal human beings – living their normal lives.
Terrorism is a mind hack. A shortcut to your limbic, irrational, emotional brain.
Acts of terror are essentially an effective method to trigger our ancient fear and paranoia brain. And central nervous system circuits of fight flight.
The reason it works is because it overwhelms our ability to think critically and completely goes after our emotional, limbic fear responses. Emotions feel real even though they are not particularly.
Fear is the intended consequence.
When a terrorist gets the laugh of seeing their targets live their lives in fear of what’s potentially going to happen next, they know – they’ve done a great job.
Following the Paris attacks, so many people I know in the US began talking about where it could happen next. Where it would happen “here.”
People were arguing that we are unsafe. That the world is dangerous. That life is to be feared. I had friends too frightened to leave their apartments then day after the attacks.
Some people deal with crisis by saying they believe in karma or some other natural law – and that things happen for a reason.
That is most certainly NOT me.
I believe in critical thinking. And the reality is, regardless of people trying to inject fear into the minds of the unsuspecting, the reality is that we are living in the safest times ever.
Not that long ago in human history, a person had a 1 in 4 chance of dying by the hands of another human over the course of their lifetime.
Now, that number, in New York City for example, is much lower. More like 1 in 250 over the entire course of your life.
We truly are safer than ever.
But safety is a state of mind too. It’s a way of looking at the world.
At some point we must turn on critical thinking and ask ourselves, what are we so afraid of really?
And who exactly are we scared of?
More often than not, the answer to that is “the boogie man in our head.”
Which is exactly where the terrorist lives. That’s why he or she is so scary. They aren’t “real.” They are neurons and symbols triggering inside your brain – causing a massive fear reaction.
“Don’t ride public transportation, especially in major cities like NYC and Washington DC.”
“Stay away from large spaces such as stadiums and concert venues.”
“If you see something, say something.”
“Be extra cautious of your surroundings.”
In sense of terrorism however, the intention is to create a spectacle and install and sear into your limbic brain an image that is intended to create chronic stress in your body.
By paying attention to that fear, and acting as if it’s a “real” thing, we fall pray to the power of terrorism.
Critical thinking is the key. Critical thinking is essential.
So many things, pivot around our ability to see and think clearly. To not do so is to give into our irrational fears and live smaller and smaller lives.
Make no mistake. We will all die at some point. But HOW we are going to die is what this post is about. Or more accurately, how to live fearlessly, right now.
I’ve linked to the “odds of dying” chart created by the NSC – the National Safety Council. This is to show you that there are far more important things that are relevant to your health and safety, your life and death – that you actually do have control over.
And getting control is how we exert the feeling of safety in our lives.
What meditation and a really rough childhood has taught me is that a sense of safety must come from inside.
Get control of the limbic symbols in your head.
Change them into things that make you feel safe and comfortable – instead of letting terrorists program the limbic fear movies in your head.
The bottom line? Program your own brain with things that you LOVE. Program your brain with feeling good. Program your brain with your pleasure. Safety starts inside. Safety is a feeling we have to create inside of ourselves first.