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Startled!

Dear Kim:

I opened the front door almost at the same time as my neighbor across the hall today and startled pretty intensely as he came out.

I don't know if it was that he was big. Or male. Or simply what my frontal cortex perceived to be a threatening moving object coming towards me.

He is a benign enough presence. I have seen him on plenty of occasions and exchanged the usual banal social lubricants of neighbors who keep a cordial distance.

But suddenly, my heart was pounding, my whole body tensed, as if for combat.

I apologized for my reaction and said good morning. As we rode down in the elevator I thought, maybe it never goes away.

Maybe if you have been attacked, the fear lives in your body like a dormant virus. And no amount of therapy or meditate will it away.

(Kim: I see people as having unlimited potential to change. I'm completely convinced of this, especially since I've developed a proof that this true.

The mathematican says that the number of all whole numbers and all even numbers are the same, even though that there are two whole numbers for every even number. The fact that we have limits does not mean that our potential is not infinite.)

I sat for a while in my car, feeling sad that this fear has permitted to go to a cellular level. It was very hard not to get mad at myself or frustrated that I am still reacting so strongly to events that happened well over a quarter of a century ago.

Then, I thought, if my body feels as if it is at war when it perceives a non threat like that, I need to wage peace. And I decided that for today, I would especially kind to the various selves that inhabit my body's experience.

Later,

Joan

Friday, Mar 3, 2006

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