How societal fear mongering necessitates dissociation in the rise of cultural dissociation.

What I notice…

An interesting facet of American society is often represented as fear mongering. Fear mongering is the idea of instilling fear into a culture or society to persuades hatred or anger towards a particular issues. A terrifying aspect of fear mongering is when individually, we as humans do not think for ourselves by allowing whatever is populated to become gospel. The idea behind being able to tune in to oneself will ultimately allow one to work on anxiety and anxiety triggering situations. This comes as on learns how regain control of the body. In the timeless, everlasting works to the great James Hillman:

The external may cause suffering, but it does not itself suffer (Hillman, 1992, p. 63).

Everyone from clergy to politicians to the on-slot of pontifical op-editors have waged in on the topic of Human Rights, Black Lives Matter, the Dakota Pipeline, LGBTQIA, the recent political forum that regards human lives as expendable figures, and many other horrific acts on humanity. Politicians tell us what side to act on, in order to enhance our safety and remove the threat or terrorism from American soil, to even the fear tactic of having all of our rights and weapons and dignity removed from us if we refuse to act sternly in accordance with our ‘constitutional rights.’ One very interesting facet I witness is ubiquitous constraints of not allowing us feel as we need or want to feel. We must only adhere to the way they all want us to feel. As if for some reason out society has indoctrinated George Orwell’s 1984.

Fortunately, we can become aware of our own feelings and standings in how we as humans are being affected by much of the travesty in our country. With growing awareness, we can tune in to what is being said throughout our bodies and our individual psyche. Carl Jung eloquently postulated on how we as humans avoid feeling at all cost:

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn theosophy by heart, or mechanically repeat mystic texts from the literature of the whole world—all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their souls (CW 12, para 126).”

I will not wage into the debate of soul here; I have attempted a small understanding here. You’ll find a small intro into how I orchestrate myself. Too big a topic for this blog.

One of the founders of Gestalt Therapy Frederick Perls once said,

“Lose your mind, to come to your senses.”

Each of these philosophers I choose to follow in life, have illustrated the much needed return to the body or the self, in order to fully understand the self. Unfortunately what happens in the political forum, is one is forced to one side or the other, sequestering unconditional support, without truly checking in with the self. This can have grave psychological consequences on the fragile psyche.

Awareness in motion. 
What I notice about me is I become saddened by events that have transpired. I enjoy civil liberties that I’ve grown accustomed to, but civil liberties of the masses fearfully overshadow an individual’s right to live in harmony. Once the other’s civil liberties have been overshadowed, one’s rights to live in harmony is thus removed, if not forcefully, then mortally. So now we have a paradox of protecting one’s civil liberty, by threatening another’s individual liberty.

This is a great place of fear for me. I too have many emotions centered around death, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, you name it; I’ve felt it. I do not like the notion that one has eternal control over my existence in this world. However, how I understand this fear in me and I pay attention to what comes up for me in the moment. For example, when fear and anxiety come up for me, I ask, “who’s fear and anxiety is this?” The manifestation of fear constellates as trembling, nervousness, and constant fear of looking over my shoulder. My chest begins to tighten, and my heart feels as if it is squeezing the life out of itself. This is the moment of my anxiety. Allowing myself to hear the words, “you’re safe, there is nothing of immanent danger ‘right now,’ and you’re fine,” allow me to center myself. I must allow myself to come back to center amidst rapid heart rate and shallow breathing. I take a mental inventory and mental imagery of the immediate room, then allow myself to tune in to the anxious/fearful feeling. Maybe at this point, I allow myself to recognize the tension that is present, and sit in present moment with what physiological symptom is present. What I notice is this allows these trapped blockages of energy to be recognized. In severe cases, I’ll actually allow my body to do a movement to shake of the energy, to throw it off of my body if you will, much like a dog shaking it’s head around to recalibrate to the earth below him.

Not an easy task…
One must give the permission from within to be allowed to feel or experience an emotion or a feeling to be able to over come a sudden surge of fear or anxiety. As human beings, we rarely allow ourselves to be in the here and now. Being in the here and now allows these foreign feelings to come in, be experienced and be released. If we choose to ignore the feelings, this becomes an open invitation for anxiety to set up camp. In events such as the Orlando onslaught on the LGBTQ community and the mass shootings that are ever present and the horrific attack on individual citizens on our streets, one can and does tend to manifest anxiety and fears around these situations. These situations are terrifying. These feelings are a normal reaction to being human, however, what is abnormal are the residual energies that keep us focused on the ineffective movements through life, such as how I notice the moments when I tend to walk with fear and anxiety post any egregious attack on humans.

Finally, my experience working in a Gestalt therapeutic manner has increased my awareness of things I can control and things I cannot. As illustrated by gestalt therapist Joel Latner:

“The point of this [psychotherapy] is not to destroy our ability to exercise the kinds of control we exercise over ourselves in impairment, but to make that control available to us so that we can choose whether to continue or alter it … as therapy unifies us, it frees the jailer and the prisoner.”

As addressed earlier by James Hillman,

The external may cause suffering, but it does not itself suffer (Hillman, 1992, p. 63).

This illustrates how society keeps us in suffering but we can be in control of the physiological affects of the suffering. The physiological affects will then determine our outward actions. Humans have the ability to go out and march in support of this suffrage. We can speak to the atrocities in society and decide to not tolerate acts of injustice that are thrusted upon us.

Have you ever felt this sense of anxiety with or without seeing acts of injustice? If so, give me a call. A depth exploration and gestalt awareness understanding of your personal beliefs will help open your awareness and potentially your heart.

Jeremy R. Allen, M.A., Psychotherapist
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