Predicting danger - Part Two

When we've experienced some unfortunate incident that put us in some kind of danger, we typically make a dire prediction about that kind of occurrence. We assume it's likely to happen again when the conditions are against us. We expect to get set-up like that again if we're not wary, cautious and guarded. These dire predictions prove to be extremely confining. They leave us no options, room to maneuver or a future to look forward to. We naturally feel compelled to counteract our dire predictions with another kind of forecast.

We also make clever predictions about danger to break out of feeling stuck, victimized and fenced in -- by the likely reoccurrence of unfortunate incidents. We predict that we can escape our cruel fate by appearing different to others. We find ways to camouflage ourselves so we look uninviting, unavailable or uncooperative with passing dangers. First we figure out what about ourselves brought on the danger in the first place. We then predict it won't happen again if we disguise ourselves differently. If we were appealing, we get ugly, repulsive or revolting. If we appeared vulnerable, we look tough, mean or nasty. If we were already being a jerk when it happened, we put on airs of being nice, extra cooperative or a pushover. Whatever the disguise we adopt, we predict that it will fool the predator, deceive the enemy and repel the problematic situation.

When we disguise ourselves like this, we've gone out on a limb. We're not standing on solid ground, being true to ourselves or confident to our core. We've only put ourselves in this position to deal with unwanted danger. We've sought an alternative to being paranoid and trapped by the constant threat of the danger. However, our dire and clever predictions leave much unchanged. Rather than trying to modify these unchanging predictions, we can develop several more comprehensive predictions that break the lock of this initial pair:
  • Consider how present circumstances are different from the situation where the incident occurred. Predict what effect that will have on the danger.
  • Realize how you have changed by growing older, more experienced and more aware. Predict how this could deter the danger without relying on a disguise.
  • Ponder how the dangerous person has endured consequences as a result of becoming dangerous to you previously. Predict how this might inhibit a reoccurrence.
  • Explore how free you are to leave the past behind you and to powerfully choose a future more to your liking. Predict how exuding this power can alter how you get treated.

These four added predictions put the original dire and clever forecasts into a larger context. They make the fear-based forecasts seem antiquated, ill-informed and excessively apprehensive. They allow for the possibility of the dire and clever predictions to still apply in some situations. They avoid trying to change them, get rid of them or prove them wrong. These additional four predictions make the use of the initial two more selective, occasional and exceptional. The overall effect can be liberating. Emotional baggage may get lost permanently.

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