My kids won’t take the bus to school.  They flat out refuse. Luckily for them (and I point this out with great frequency) they have the luxury of refusing.  Whenenver I broach the subject, a whirlwind of arguments spew out of their mouths faster than I can deflect them.

~The bus smells.

~People on the bus are mean; they tease you.

~The bus driver plays music from the inappropriate station (this is their favorite one to get me with…surely they reason, I don’t want them listening to songs full of lyrics about sex, drugs and racial slurs.)

~The bus driver is not a good driver.

Anyway, you get the point.

This morning JM and I were having a conversation about fear, and it made me think about how fear is kind of like the bad bus situation.  Fear smells bad on a person.  It destroys self-esteem, healthy decision-making, happiness and the ability to be here now–to be present.

Fear is mean. It teases, taunts, ridicules.  It wants us to think the worst of ourselves and others. It proliferates the ideas that we are helpless, hopeless, and that all good efforts are a waste of our time. It keeps us on our toes, or should I say, on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump at the smallest indication of discomfort.

Fear plays a long list of musical hits from the worst stations: anger, resentment, self-pity.  Just like the Top 40, fear keeps playing the same old bad music again and again, because it just can’t strum up the creativity or the willingness to tell a different story (or to play a different song if we’re going to stick with the metaphor.)

And most importantly, fear is a terrible driver. We do all sorts of crazy stuff because we’re afraid.  But what is it that we’re so afraid of?

There’s a story in the BB that says that there are 2 fears: I’m afraid of losing what I have or I’m afraid of not getting what I want.  Notice the stream of ‘I’ running through all of our fears.  There’s entitlement (I should be getting something else out of this!) There’s also that debilitating effort to control people, places and things (this is not what I expected; this is not ok with me.) There’s a complete disconnect with whatever power we find greater than ourselves.

Fear is the corrosive thread that cords its way through our lives, around our hearts, into the very fiber of our being.  In fear, we are rats on a wheel in a cage.  Relationships are ruined because of fear. Dreams are obliterated because it’s impossible to work towards fulfillment of our deepest desires when fear is running the show.

There will always be someone who tells us we can’t do something, have something or be something. In fact, from birth, much of the story written around our lives is about what we can’t do.  So we have to tell a different story.  I learned that in AA from a woman in these rooms.  She told me that every story has a different story.

It’s hard sometimes to know if we should laugh or cry at our human condition…the fact that we are trapped inside the embodiment of our own experience. This is a Pema Chodron (she’s amazing!) concept.  That means that I instinctively see things from only my perspective. It is a lifelong learning experience to open to life…open my eyes, my heart, my soul, my being, to experiences happening outside of my own perception.

It’s good to remember that we are each asking (from the most cellular level), and life (or God, or the universe or whatever your comfortable calling it) is always answering us.  That’s why manifesting good things in your life has so much to do with finding what inspires you and what you love. Because love and inspiration exist in a fearless place. It keeps things balanced.

The world is a crazy place, but it has always been crazy. We can tune into that and be compelled to drive the bus from that place.

~Gotta get more, be more, do more, have more.

~Have to work harder, faster, longer.

~Need to be better, separate, different, special.

Or, we can relax into the place we find ourselves right now. We can dig for appreciation of our present circumstances, even when they’re difficult. We can imagine and day-dream about what we’d like to see materialize for us in the future. That’s an excellent use of our imagination.

Ask yourself today as you move throughout your life, who is driving the bus?