I had a nice talk with my girlfriend about things we are letting go of. As we get older we shed ideas and beliefs we had in our 20s and I’m sure it will continue past our 30s. We lose the staunch and rigid ideas given to us by our professors we admired for his or her acute scrutiny and ability to lecture, but as we age we don’t see ourselves in that anymore. We also come to understand how much we try and run from our past, poverty and our parents’ lack of education. We try and define ourselves by what we read, where we live, what kinds of politics we have etc. Then we have experiences in our lives that make us realize those things are simply ego and to understand and practice compassion means also to die to our animal nature of wants and separate the need. This conversation lead me to some insight. When I was child I used to be afraid of the dark. I was never told by my parents, who worked too much, that there is nothing to fear or even asked why I was afraid, I was simply told I shouldn’t be afraid. My siblings may or may not have been afraid but I certainly was and usually had trouble falling asleep. I used to wake up and wanted to be soothed by my mother, I think I was around 6-7. My mom would wake up tired and angry and ask me what was the matter. She could tell I had nothing to say so she would become even more upset. So I faked a stomach ache and she would make me tea and give me some soothing words and send me back to bed. Of course this all I really wanted but it is a bad habit to develop. I told my girlfriend this story and she said it was very sad and maybe this had something to do with my TMS. I replied I’m sure because there is fear. She told me that she experienced stomach aches as a child because she was afraid to go to school, every day until school was out for about 5 years. My oldest sister who did very well in high school also had chronic stomach aches throughout and they finally disappeared after she graduated. I think hers was fear and pressure to do well or else end up working like our parents, doing farm labor. I dozed off to sleep. Hours later I woke and I felt the beginnings of pain in my stomach. I thought wow how suggestive my brain is! The next day I experienced stomach pain throughout, coming and going especially after a meal. Stomach pain has been one of my main TMS symptoms. I never equated this before, my history with fear and this now TMS. My stomach pain is mostly gone since 2017 after doing TMS work, and it still acts up here and there but I treat it like TMS and it goes away. So I consider it a success but here is the rest of this realization... I thought to myself what else is in there, from my past? I know that I was a very fearful child at times and at other times a very brave one who faced a lot of my fears and overcame a lot. It could go in either direction actually. One area however that created a lot of fear was religion and the church we attended. As as child I have never felt more afraid in my life than sitting in church hearing the preacher talk about fires that would erase us from existence. I think he was reading from the book of revelation. I imagined an angry GOD who hated all of us for being sinners and wanting to waste us like the child burning ants with his magnifying glass. I hated this GOD and feared him. I couldn’t understand why people worshiped him and kept coming back except that maybe they were like fearful animals. I pictured those people with their eyes closed while praying who looked as if they were asking for mercy. We continued to go for years and every year when this particular passage was read I would ignore it and would space out and try and think about something else. To add to this fear later one evening I watched a movie or something on TV. It was something on the predictions of Nostradamus. The movie was filled with scenes of war, famine, flooding etc etc. It filled me with great fear and I bow certain we were doomed. I started to develop anxiety and every time I heard a jetplane fly overhead I assumed it was a bomb or missile being sent our way. This lasted until the 7th grade. To my benefit i didn’t hear many jets during that time since we lived in the rural country. Luckily before that around age 12 my father started working more and more and stopped going to church. He was just too tired and wanted to go fishing on his day off. The family rebelled about going without our father and my mother finally gave up on taking us. We literally rejoiced, my brothers have an almost audible “hoorah!” at never going to that place and I could tell everyone else never wanted to be there in the first place. To this day none of my siblings have ever gone to church since. My anxiety started to finally lower and I almost forgot about the stories told in church. I later developed a fear of flying, probably from seeing jets as something scary, and to this day I still get nervous when I’m on the plane but can usually manage with a little belly breathing.