Fear, in part, causes Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s, in part, causes fear. At the center of this circular dance, is ego [or as Eckhart Tolle refers to it, the egoic mind], holding onto and feeding off the fear, injecting negative thoughts and exacerbating symptoms. Quite a conundrum, this triple-sided conspiracy.
I think we can all agree that Parkinson’s causes fear [at least it certainly has the potential to]. When you consider the various symptoms such as loss of mobility and uncontrollable shaking, and when you consider that the symptoms tend to get worse over time, it is easy to understand how one can experience fear and why so many people living with Parkinson’s experience anxiety. Actually, it’s hard to imagine not feeling fear. I certainly did!
The role of fear in the development of Parkinson’s is not quite so apparent, but but it plays a role nonetheless. As Robert Rodgers explains it in his book [Road to Recovery from Parkinson’s Disease], chronic fear causes chronic stress which causes an overabundance of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which causes the part of the brain that produces dopamine and serotonin to eventually shut down, leading to the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
When we understand the relationship between fear and Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s and fear, it’s not difficult to understand why the condition is progressive. Talk about your proverbial snowball rolling down the hill, getting ever larger as it rolls.
So where does ego fit into this picture. It was ego that orchestrated the negative thoughts that caused the fear and stress that led to the development of Parkinson’s in the first place. And it is ego that causes us to obsess over the symptoms we’re experiencing and hold on to fear that contributes to the progression of the symptoms including anxiety. In other words, it is ego that is at the center of this storm. Ego is the ringmaster!
So what do we need to do in order to end this circle of suffering. Well here’s the beauty of it! We really don’t need to do anything. We just need to be aware of when we’re stepping into ego [when we’re experiencing negative thoughts] and bring ourselves back into conscious presence. In other words, live in the present moment and keep our thoughts positive.
Ego thrives on misery. It loves negativity, confrontation, competition, drama, gossip, criticism, self-pity, being right, obsession, victimhood, etc. And mostly, it loves fear. It thrives on fear! If you would like to know more about ego, I urge you to read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. If you would like the Coles notes version, check out the blog I wrote on the subject.
Ego will consume you if you give it the chance. It will keep you in a perpetual state of negativity and fear. It will thwart your best efforts to heal yourself. The good thing though, is that it is relatively easy to overcome. It just requires awareness. Constant awareness! You don’t have to fight it or wage war against it. In fact, doing so strengthens it. As the popular saying goes, what you resist persists. Just be aware and continually bring yourself into the present moment. This awareness will dissolve ego, let go of fear and stress and allow the body to return to homeostasis.
Have an awesomely present day!
If you would like to know more about the beginnings of my recovery from Parkinson’s, check out the blogs I posted in the ‘my recovery from parkinson’s‘ section.