“Instincts on rampage balk at investigation.” p.44 12×12

Instincts are powerful.

And they are activated by fear.

Even the most docile, domesticated animal will turn demonic once cornered and threatened. The instinct for survival is so deeply wired within us it is very nearly uncontrollable. What is problematic is that the fear that drives the instinctual actions does not even need to be actual to work. It can be, and often is, imagined.

Thoughts create fear.

If we think our survival is at stake, then it may as well be. Perception is reality. If we feel threatened, we will react. If we always feel threatened, we are always reacting. Some of us are so use to the threat/reaction situation that even when we aren’t threatened we are making that shit up.

We call this defensiveness.

We actually create threats to justify our reactions. This is where we differ from the animals. Animals will defend life and “property.” Themselves, their offspring, their shelters. But they don’t defend their reputation, their honor, their social status, their job position, their feelings of superiority, their need to be right all the time, their excess possessions, or other animal’s opinions of them. We made that shit up.

The “threats” we defend against, we react against, feel important. But are they?

Step 4 is examining this. How have I acted instinctually toward threats that don’t really exist? I feel threatened, so I must be. But I’m not. There are very, very few situations in my life that cause fear that actually have anything to do with survival. If I can learn to distinguish between these, I can relax. I can stop being this wound up ball of stress and anxiety. I can know peace.

But this is not easy. I have, for so long, imagined my “feelings” to be ultimate reality. My out of control instincts do do wish to be touched, changed, or eradicated. They are my safety.

But if I am ever to know serenity, they must undergo a thorough investigation.

When I started CrossFit, I had ways. I had my ways. I had the way I bend over, the way I push things, the way I held and carried things. The way I ran, the way I ate. All of those things got me to my pre-CrossFit condition. I needed new ways if I was going to become what I wanted to be.

This process is uncomfortable. It feels foreign. Things that felt “right” were wrong, and things that felt “wrong” were right. I didn’t like this. I complained. I refused. I resisted. And I stayed the same.

Finally I got tired of it. I committed to listening, to taking suggestions, to being uncomfortable. That’s when I got what I was after.