It's important, I find, to recall and re-use old tools that have proven helpful in difficult situations in the past. Sometimes we think we've moved so far forward that a "Been there, done that!" attitude clouds our memory and limits our options. Fear is an ongoing challenge in this world so we need all the assistance we can muster.

Humor has been a fantastic form of overcoming adversity ... whenever I can find, and laugh at, the irony or absurdity in a "crisis" situation, my inner peace is generally restored. The initial breakthrough in my relationship with my mother came when I realized that the seemingly hurtful things she would say were outlandish enough to make great standup comedy lines. I stopped taking it personally, saw the humor (which she didn't intend, of course) and rescued myself from that fearful enmeshment.

Another successful approach for me has been releasing expectations and fear by facing the TRUTH. An analogy that I created several years ago joins with the healing power of humor to facilitate this process ... I call it the Duck or Puppy Test:

Many relationship scenarios can be likened to buying a puppy at a pet shop. The store is out of puppies, so we settle for a duck (or we are a puppy born into a duck family).

All the time we're with this duck, we keep hoping that it will bark, fetch, roll over and act like a puppy. When we become clear that this is never going to happen, we can release the impossible expectations we've been holding (since quacking and waddling are simply what a duck does).

Then we can re-empower ourselves by choosing whatever action feels right in the clear light of Truth ... do we want to accept the duck "as is" or move on ... towards finding an actual puppy instead? This dissolves the drama and offers a window of transformation for all involved.

In 1991 I left a successful career in the Los Angeles area, leased out my house with everything in it, and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico — where I knew no one. As time went on, the tenants vacated my house, and I was told that California's then declining real estate market made the property "un-sellable." Persistent worries about whether my bank account could hold out longer than it would take my house to sell were beginning to overwhelm me.

After a string of sleepless nights, I finally discovered an adversity-relief formula that restored my inner peace. I envisioned every aspect of how it would look, feel, smell, taste and sound for my house to sell — I heard the realtor's voice over the phone telling me we had an offer; I saw myself catching a plane to California; I heard and saw the buyers as we did a final walkthrough; I felt the check in my hand; I smelled the exhaust of the yellow rental truck after we loaded up my stuff; I tasted a celebration dinner; and I saw myself being fully immersed in my nonprofit project in Santa Fe with no distracting ties elsewhere.

The house went on the market October 4, 1992. There was just one offer submitted on October 22nd (for just a little bit short of the asking price), and escrow closed December 4th.

(It was the ONLY house my realtor sold that month. She said she knew it would happen though, because she could FEEL my belief in it.)

All fear is a case of forgotten identity. Most things we fear are the result of a lack of trust and failure to acknowledge our own innate power.

My hope for everyone is beautifully said by the Great Sufi Master Hafiz (1320-1389): "Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions."

©Chelle Thompson www.InspirationLine.com

Author's Bio: 

Chelle Thompson, Editor-Publisher of Inspiration Line, has an extensive background in recovery programs, motivational counseling, psychology, theology and human relations. In 1991, she left a successful advertising career in Southern California and followed her Inner Voice to New Mexico, where she knew no one. In Santa Fe, she established a nonprofit personal growth center called Lightship of Santa Fe which was dedicated to advancing human potential through self-empowerment. Currently, Chelle produces the InspirationLine.com meaningful life website and global weekly e-magazine which reaches more than 229 countries worldwide with 75,000 monthly readers.