I was watching The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Fallon was playing a game in which he and his guest took turns reaching inside a box through slots. The box had one open side that faced the audience so everyone knew its contents except the one playing. As the game began, instinctively the participants’ minds went on the lookout for evidence of danger, attempting to keep themselves safe. Whenever they came in contact with the unknown objects (Peeps marshmallow bunnies, cinnamon rolls, earthworms, a frog), they overreacted and jumped back, certain it was something undesirable. The game was fun to watch, but in day-to-day life, the process of negatively projecting, avoiding the unknown, and fearing what might happen is tiring at best, crippling at worst. When our internal stories are about possible threats, then taking another step, going forward with a project, relationship, or a move of any kind can be frightening, even painful – because expectation and projection affect us so greatly.
In an article I read on pain science, the author included documentation of a builder who had jumped down onto a 15 centimeters-long nail. Any movement of his foot was so painful, that in order to be treated he had to be completely sedated. Once tended, they found the nail had not entered his foot at all; it had gone between his toes. His foot was completely unharmed. But he had been in excruciating pain. The pain was real, but it was also incorrectly informed.Read More