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I recently had a bit of a scary diagnosis that requires emergency surgery. I'm very lucky in that, and I have the most excellent care around me, certainly, from the amazing love of my life, but also from wonderful friends and family. I feel pretty good about what’s ahead. In fact, I expect smooth sailing and a perfect outcome, but sometimes well-meaning people who insist on dumping their worst fears on me don’t make this outlook so easy to maintain.
The whole situation is making me realize that, as much as we think of ourselves as evolved and top-of-the-food-chain, humanity is, in many ways, still very much in its infancy. What we consider modern man evolved approximately 200,000 years ago, but the beginnings of any kind of civilization didn't spring up till 194,000 years later. What I consider the age of reason, where we are finally starting to begin to understand how the world actually functions, only began with the onset of science. Albert Einstein, who gave us many fundamental advances about life, and even life after death, only lived some 70 years short ago. That's a blip in human history, and let's face it, most of us still don't really have a real clue about what Einstein was talking about and how it could fundamentally affect our daily lives. We still don't really fathom that everything is energy. Most of us still think of the physical world as a solid matter. We ignore that everything is made of atoms, even though most of us were forced to sweat through Chemistry in high school. We know building a house requires an excavator and heavy machinery, but even such a seemingly solid structure evolved from an idea. Everything starts as energy, as thought, as an idea that eventually evolves into the physical manifestation (and even that is 99.9% energy)
You ask, what does all this have to do with emergency surgery? Well, I noticed that the moment we’re faced with a scary situation, we immediately revert to our 200,000-year-old ancestry – and I mean the one before civilization popped up. We revert to fear, superstition, and delusion. We talk about good thoughts and remaining positive, but for the most part, it’s just a desperate act. In reality, we hope for the best but expect the worst. Why do we do that to ourselves?
I talk about this phenomenon in my book The List Method. I wrote: “I go completely nuts when people talk about hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. It is an impossibility, a contradiction in terms, based on pure ignorance of how things work. When you are preparing for the worst, it means you are orienting your radar toward the worst-case scenario. In essence, you are asking your reticular activating system to highlight only those worst experiences for you. Your orientation creates the filter that ensures you must experience only that. There is no possible scenario where you could be oriented toward the worst but accidentally experience the best. You simply cannot look both ways at the same time period. You can only see that to which you're oriented. You can't see the thing you're looking away from. You won't be able to see the best while you're focused on the worst; it will simply slip by. Just like you can only reap what you sow - you can't plant potatoes and expect to pick daisies. When you sow the worst- that’s precisely what you will reap.”
And why are we so bent on being prepared for the worst, anyway? Will it make the worst, if indeed it were to come, even the slightest bit more palatable? Would it make it easier to bear if we knew about it ahead of time? Is there even the slightest benefit in driving yourself crazy prior to the anticipated event? If anything, you'll be a complete wreck when it’s finally time to face the music - right when it would behoove you to be at your most calm and mature. Fear is a very powerful emotion. It triggers a whole cascade of hormonal changes in the body, all of which serve to weaken the immune system, the nervous system, and the body’s ability to heal. The body has a credo: survival first, maintenance second. When your body is in survival mode, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, and your adrenaline flows - enabling you to flee or get ready for a fight. Normally the body's normal healing ability is nothing short of miraculous, but under those circumstances, the healing process is pushed to the back burner. Nerves, too, are much keener to give you an edge in a potential fight, but when there is no fight, when you're lying in bed trying to heal, edgy nerves only make you feel pain more acutely.
Niels Bohr, the father of Quantum Physics and contemporary of Albert Einstein showed that, as long as an event is still in progress, all possible outcomes are inherent – meaning anything literally can happen until the event is decided. This is probably the thing that drives us as human beings the craziest. On the surface, it seems to say that we are nothing but pawns of a capricious fate, our lives decided by a mere roll of the dice. In reality, however, it means that we are literally unlimited! It means that all possibilities are open to us, simply because we have dominion over our focus.
Here’s the thing: No matter what happens, no matter the circumstance - nobody can ever tell you what to think! They could throw you in prison, but still, but your thoughts would still be free! Focus, belief, desire, and expectation are your most powerful attributes because you have FULL CONTROL over them. You alone hold decision-making powers over your fate because you alone can decide what you allow yourself to think about. In other words, you get to decide the energetic frequency in which you want to swim. That’s the God-given Law that puts you in charge of your existence!
Yes, of course, fear will come up. That's your normal, built-in survival instinct. Your subconscious is always scanning for potential danger. And any unknown feels like a potential danger. It’s a pain in the neck, but you can’t turn it off, no matter what, so you might as well get used to it. Fear is uncomfortable, but that does not mean you have to let it run your life. When fear pops up, acknowledge it, recognize that it is simply a prehistoric instinct, and then say, “Thanks but no thanks! I KNOW how my fate is decided!”
Common sense tells you that your body does better when you're in a relaxed state. Well, quantum physics tells you the very same thing! Everything is energy, and you get to choose yours! And if science isn't your thing – at least have a little faith! What is prayer but simply stating your desired outcome, believing that God hears you, and expecting an answer? Repeated prayers can help make you feel the energy and atmosphere of your desired outcome, which makes believing a little easier. However, please realize that repeated prayer is solely for your benefit, not because God is deaf. I know it’s scary to believe this Law is real when you see so much suffering around you. Still, it does not mean that we are subject to the whims of a capricious God. In fact, God gave us a most powerful Law, and it is up to us to use it correctly and do so relentlessly!! So, please stop hoping for the best and start KNOWING that it exists. Walt Disney once said that dreams come true if you believe - and Walt knew a thing or two about making dreams come true! Who knew he was simply following a God-given law that’s available to us all?