Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Moving Beyond Fear and Anger Into Right Action

I’m Terry Gorski, and I want to welcome you to my new blog here on It’s all in the Journey’s website. Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions. I will be checking in and writing here as time permits, and I will do my best to respond to any questions in a timely fashion.
Remember, ‘It’s all in the Journey!’
Terry Gorski

“To do anything worth doing, we must act with a commitment to do what we choose to do. Nothing of value is ever accomplished by standing back, shivering with fear, and thinking only of the danger and possibility of failure. When we decide something needs to be done or something is worth doing we must put on our game face, study the situation and create a place. Then, in spite of the danger or risk of failure we need to act. WE need to move ahead with determine. We must move ahead, not without fear, but in spite of the fear. We must move ahead not because we a certain we will succeed, but because we know that if we fail we will just stand up, create a better plan, and move on. There is a saying: Try hard, fail, try again and again. Just keep failing better until you find a way to succeed. Any addict getting sober. Any sick person striving to recovery from illness but rise above the fear and doubt, figure out the next best thing we need to do, and then jump in with both feet and scramble to do what you need to do as well as we can.”
This description, which I have heard many times from successful, sober responsible people, always touches me deeply and inspires me to dig deep, and take action. As I reflect upon these ideas, as I do frequently, I begin to think about fear, anger, and transcendence.
Transcendence is the ability to rise above, move beyond, or work through the feelings and emotions that often stop us from doing what we need to do to be our best self. I love the word actualize. To recover from addiction we must dig deep and actualize the best of who we are. I love the world actualize. It means “to make real through action.!” In the context of this discussion, it means to dig deep and make real our dreams of becoming a better person, helping others, and making a better world
Transcendence means facing the two major emotional trip-wires that lead to failure – fear and anger. Fear without transcendence immobilizes us or makes us want to run away from our responsibilities. Anger, when not properly transcended and channeled through our intelligence, makes us stupid. We get angry, have a knee-jerk reaction, and then shoot ourselves in the foot. This cripples us. It limits our ability to do what is important – to do what really needs to be done.
Transcendence is a skill that can be learned and practiced.

Staying sane and sober in tough economic times can be difficult. Working a strong recovery program can provide a lot of good ideas that help.

We must be sober to transcend our economic insecurity. We need to connect in faith to higher power. The 12=Step Program says “Let go and let God.” I like the concept of transcendence, surrendering to what is and finding a place within myself that allows me to rise above and calmly endure painful reality. We need to learn how to let go and get going.
We need to let go of the anger that we feel at our difficult financial situation. We need to rise above our fear that things will keep getting worse and never get better.

Alcohol and other drugs creates the illusion of transcendence while damaging our brain and making us dependent upon the chemical effects of our drug of choice. The effect of our drugs keep us from connecting with our inner strength and tapping into the courage that we need to face adversity, ask for help, pan, act, and keep trying no matter what..

When we are dependent upon alcohol or other drugs we never learn how to dig deep and find the strength we need in the moment of crisis to do what needs to be done. It is only by digging deep, feeling the fear and letting it go, feeling the anger and releasing it, and then spiritually centering ourselves. Be quiet in the face of adversity and trust the God of your understanding. Then we can find the courage, strength, and hope that will allow us to do that many of us have never known we were capable of.
Transcendence of fear and anger is the core skill I strive to teach my son TJ Gorski and my daughter Nika Gorski. I believe it is a capacity that once learned will serve them well for the rest of their lives. There are many real-life role models that show this is possible.

Guy Lumunyon, a combat medic, is a living example of the power of this capacity to transcend anger and fear, both bin the extreme trauma of combat and the small challenges of daily life. Joe Nixon, currently serving in Iraq is another living example of this capacity.

Staying sane and sober in tough economic times can be difficult. This catalogue can provide a lot of good ideas that help.

In truth, we are all capable of transcending fear and anger and finding the strength to do the next right thing. Unfortunately, many of us have never learned we have this capacity or practiced it in a disciplined way. Many people mistaken believe that anger and fear have the power to control us, when in truth spiritual growth teaches us the absolute necessity of managing, directing, and transcending these two powerful feelings. In this way the power of anger and fear can be directed for the good instead of leading us into the chaos caused by blind overreaction.

I welcome your comments and questions.
Terry Gorski

Editor’s Note: Terence T. Gorski is Founder and President of The CENAPS Corporation (, which is a training and consultation organization with a history of over forty years of specializing in recovery and relapse prevention for addiction and related mental health problems, He is an internationally recognized author ( ) and developed many popular and effective techniques for Relapse Prevention Counseling (RPC) and Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT).
Visit both websites – you’ll be glad you did.
Charlie Griffith
Editor in Chief
It’s all in the Journey