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Fear or Pain?

Edvard Munch The Scream

Do you know the brilliant film «My Big Fat Greek Wedding»? A running gag is the bride's father's constant exhortation: "Give me a word - any word - and I will prove to you that the origin of this word is Greek!" Somehow he succeeds every time, even though he has to twist logic quite dramatically.

One can make a similar case for our emotions. And here I mean the stressful emotions, such as anger, grief, depression, guilt, indignation, hatred, self-contempt, rejection, etc. Regardless of which of these feelings is the one in question, when we go deeper, we always end up with either fear or pain.

Check it out in your everyday life Try this out when the occasion next arises. Our feelings are triggered by everyday situations - sometimes even by ridiculously small events. When this next happens, pause for a moment and try to feel exactly what it is - is this feeling one of fear or pain? If you think it is something different, then it is a hint you have to go deeper. At some point you will feel it, and it will be intuitive. Most of the time, there is no rational justification for it because it was too deeply hidden in the unconscious, and perhaps because it comes from a time when you did not have words for it yet.

Yes, and then? Then you have the key to healing in your hand. Just allow yourself to feel that pure feeling. Usually a body sensation is associated with it (pressure, tension, pain, restlessness etc.). Just try to feel this feeling. The mind will probably turn on soon and make a story out of it with justifications, accusations, helplessness, etc. Let those thoughts go, do not go with them, but concentrate only on the original feeling of fear or pain or maybe the body sensation.

It passes and can be cured If you do this consistently, you will experience that pain or fear begin to dissolve. And then you will experience a new kind of peace. This peace is the basis for love. Love is the basis for all positive emotions. You cannot “make” love (I mean, of course, not the physical love), love comes from itself. It is a gift of life.

This brings us back to the Greek father. Out of love for his fatherland, he proves to everyone that all words come from the Greek. And every time people laugh from their hearts. Joy is the best expression for love.

In this spirit, I wish that you will all be able to give and receive many moments of joy and love in everyday life and that you may laugh a lot from your heart.

Wishing Peace for 2019

Wolfgang A. Haas is on the BRMI Board of Advisors and can be reached via

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