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Panic Attacks & Fear: A Clanging of Cymbals? (part dos)

We began a two-part discussion yesterday regarding panic attacks, fear, and symbolism. I’d like to wrap it up with today’s post, as we continue our chat about the smoking car engine (who could forget that!).

Within the context of our smoking engine scenario (part uno), I would propose that a suspect belief system, as well as associated dysfunctional reactions, may be driven by assorted unconscious issues symbolized by the smoking engine. Much of this is based in rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT).

How ‘bout we focus upon this one. Is it possible that the smoking engine and a car that could soon breakdown are actually, within our unconscious minds, a self-representation? I mean, the vast majority of our self-statements and themes are likely based in feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, rage, humiliation, shame, self-degradation, abandonment, and annihilation.

No doubt about it, we’re on the very front door step of the psychoanalytic dynamic known as fragmentation – an emotional and mental sense of losing any sort of self-cohesion. Indeed, feeling as though we’re falling to pieces. Come on, think about it. Do you really believe these overpowering feelings pound away at us multiple times a day because of a car? I don’t think so.

I would propose that all of the distress and dysfunction is rooted in our conscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings about self, our life circumstances, and the potential of these factors to rip us apart and destroy us. But for any number of reasons, we aren’t able to make the personal connection, so we unconsciously elect to assign it to a car with a smoking engine.

This identification and insight is vitally important because if we miss it, we’ll go on fooling ourselves by believing the smoking engine is the real problem begging for resolution. No, it’s actually our self-generated deep feelings of fear, inadequacy, anger, rage, humiliation, shame, self-degradation, abandonment, and pending annihilation that require immediate attention.

Within the context of our discussion, this is how fear often perpetuates. We move through life trying to manage what we believe to be the fear-inducing person or event, all along ignoring the true source of our fear. And we get nowhere, but lost.

So what are the lessons to be learned from this particular discussion of fear? In the midst of the whirlwind of anticipatory anxiety and in-the-present fear, we need to have the mental discipline and open-mindedness to deeply examine the thoughts and feelings generated by the people and situations that trigger our fears. And then, listen long and hard enough to let them tell the stories we need to hear. Indeed, strongly consider and evaluate the symbolism of the people and objects we fear.

Yes, we need to glean from the dynamics of the present all we can about our fears and their background. And as we secure important identifications and connections, we need to strive to process them with a goal of resolution.

I believe this work is extremely revealing, not to mention endlessly helpful in an effort to stitch many wounds; allowing us to discard boxes of bandages.

How strong is that?

And just how strong do you think the information in these two posts is? How ’bout some comments. Really, how could you make this work for you?