force creates fear, fear destroys trust…
Posted in quotes, tibet, yellow September 5th, 2014 by pia


“Force creates fear. Fear destroys trust. Trust is the basis of harmony.”

I’ve been reflecting on these words for the past couple of days, spoken by the Dalai Lama in an interview on SBS Dateline earlier this week.

On observation it’s fairly easy to recognise this force in others and in the outside world, and to see why the world is not a harmonious place these days. On a personal level, I can feel clearly when someone tries to force their belief onto me, or when I am forced to participate in a conversation I do not want to have. From my past I can see clearly now how lines of trust were broken because of the force inflicted, and why there is no harmony with those human connections and how that lack of harmony radiates out to others.

On a global scale, it’s obvious to see the forceful destruction of lives and our surroundings. With both personal and global experiences of force the heart aches, and the mind ‘tut tuts’ and silently demands, “why can’t you see that you are destroying trust, that you are making it impossible for harmony?”

After listening to these words by the Dalai Lama, I began to reflect on the feeling of force within myself.  Over the past few days, I’m suddenly more aware of this feeling – when I force myself to work harder, ignoring my body’s signs that I’m very tired and need to rest… when I force my parenting beliefs in our household at a time when we need to let go and just be in the moment with our two-year old’s will… when I force myself to be social even though my heart, body and mind says “hibernate”… when I give more than I have…

By carrying this learned force within me throughout my life,  I can see that every time I force myself to do something or be something or have something at a time when it’s simply not necessary, I am feeding the fear within me, destroying my self-trust, and therefore not living harmoniously.

It suddenly makes so much sense.

Do you recognise when you are forcing yourself to do or be something other than who you are? For me it’s been so ingrained, such a part of me that it seemed impossible to separate. And I’m sure if I don’t retain the awareness, it will slip through the cracks, and be stitched into the seams of me again.

I had no intention of writing this post, I have a list of ‘important things’ to do, but something that resembles a flow of sorts, made me aware this was the most important thing to do – to share –  in this moment.  And in this very moment,  I can feel the pull of force to take me away from it. I recognise it. But right now, I let it be.

Have a beautiful weekend, mes amis.



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  1. Frances says

    I have never thought about it in this way. Thank you Pia. I was feeling ‘forced’ today – an overwhelm, that isn’t necessary but all driven by how I think I ‘should’ be. I am learning to listen to my breath and stomach. They tell me so much. Thank you again c so much food off thought xx take care

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  2. Isa says

    Hello Pia,
    force, forcing myself, forcing others… I’m dealing with this right now still fighting my way through it. So your thoughts are a new point of view for me… and it feels so true for me.
    Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring me for my own search.

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  3. Paula says

    Since my childhood, I developed a pretty good sense of “feeling” people. This came from the suffering I felt as a child by being born from two immigrants in a foreign country. Children used to tease me and they were not soft. So I worked on learning who I can trust.
    Nowadays, my instincts are still good but when I forc myself to socialize for a reason not depending of me, it never works. We really have to trust our instincts !
    I loved this post and I love the way you write. You have the ability to make us (your readers) feel like we are actually friends. It is always honest and intense.

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  4. Ruby says

    Thank you for taking the time to share the intimate post. It is good to be reminded of the importance of recognizing and meditating on force in our lives.

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  5. Tina says

    Yes! I find fear creates force too. If I’m acting out of fear I’ll force myself to do things I don’t actually have the energy for or want to do sometimes. I worry about the ripples those actions leave behind. My fear based actions can carry a force I don’t intend as well.

    Broken trust leaves such large ripples in my life too. Actions from childhood continue to reverberate throughout my life 40 years later. I approach parenting now with as much consciousness as I can muster in hopes of leaving only resiliency and love reverberating in my sons life. I’m imperfect though.

    Thank you so much for this thoughtful post. It will leave ripples as well.

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  6. Jane says

    Dear Pia, you are so right about trying hard to recognise how we force ourselves into things. It’s to do with listening to that ‘little voice’, that ‘first voice’ of ours that we hear and often dismiss to our peril. I’m so with you on this one. I constantly forced myself to do things even though I didn’t want to, or felt too tired to do, or felt too poorly to do, on and on, over and over and I think that’s one reason I ended up with M.E. So you keep practising dear Pia, you are young and you have time, and you deserve to look after yourself. After all how can we look after others if we don’t honour ourselves first? It’s so hard to do though, especially for us women, right down the centuries women have always put themselves last haven’t they?

    I hope you have a happy and peaceful weekend.

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  7. maggie bernaldo says

    Pia ~ oh dear ~ this induced a tear or two ~ I need harmony. Maggie B

    September 5th, 2014 | #

  8. Aara Suksi says

    Thank you so much. This is beautiful and courageous.

    September 7th, 2014 | #

  9. Wendy Gregory says

    I really enjoyed your message, it explained how I often feel when I don’t like what Inam doing and even avoid certain situations.
    Kind wishes

    September 7th, 2014 | #

  10. Madeleine says

    Very interesting. In physics a force is an interaction and an action creates an ‘equal and opposite reaction’, so by forcing you’re creating a resistance.
    Learning physics at school I always used to think how it applied to people too. Like things that heat up slowly retain their heat longer and those that heat quickly lose it quickly. This made me look up the physics, Newtons Third Law – I’m no scholar by the way! – but it’s so interesting – Thanks.

    September 7th, 2014 | #

  11. Chema Ballarin says

    While reading your post, I couldn’t agree more with you. Forcing oneself to do something or to be something is indeed stressing and absorbs so much energy.
    Then, I finished reading and kept thinking for few more minutes: How about discipline? How about training, preparing oneself to be greater, better, smarter, faster? How about personal growth?
    By letting ourselves into this “non-forcing” mode, are we not prone to live a life of just self complacency, a vague copy of the epicureans? Isn’t it worth forcing oneself to do certain things for the reward of achieving greater things in the future?

    September 7th, 2014 | #

  12. Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray says

    […] force creates fear, fear destroys trust… from Pia Jane […]

    September 8th, 2014 | #

  13. Catalina says

    Thank you so much for sharing this Pia! reminds me a lot of things and yes I’m aware of the things I do that I do not want to do, sometimes I just decide to not do them and feel better and some other times I decide to do something just to be kind if I think is very important to others and then find it less “forced”.

    I guess to me the most important is if I decided to do something I rather prefer not to or not.. and not to be forced in by others or manipulated, so I still have conversations, be with some people I have nothing in common and so on, that are not “ma tasse de thé” but I can feel harmony inside. Things develop sometimes in a very nice way, unexpected…

    I can do that if I feel good, if is not too much effort, in that case I would feel drained for sure.

    September 17th, 2014 | #

  14. pia says

    I have loved reading and reflecting on all your comments. You’ve added so much to this conversation, thank you!!

    Tina – “fear creates force” – yes! I see that too, thank you so much for sharing this, I have since been aware of the cycle of force creating fear, fear creating force, within me and in the outside world. And with what is happening in the world today, it is so so apparent.

    Jane – yes yes yes. Women have lived in fear for so so long. And so so many in the world still do, including ourselves. How does that fear shape our lives? Our minds? Where is this fear stored in our bodies and hearts? Thank you so much for contributing here.

    Oh Maggie, I hope you feel the harmony soon. x

    Madeleine – I loved this, thank you!!

    Chema Ballarin – oh I hear you, I hear you. I always felt this when I listened to the Dalai Lama and others talk about inner peace and harmony, and how that reflects on outer harmony. And I just didn’t get it. What do you do in a difficult situation, do you just let someone hurt you? What about standing up for oneself, isn’t that in a way being forceful, to stand and say, “hey, what you do hurts me and it’s not ok!” especially if it’s in your nature to avoid conflict and aggression. And yes how about personal growth? But here is where I’m finally learning – there is a difference between ‘force’ and ‘directed attention’. And now I’m understanding even more why the emphasis is always on ‘becoming aware’ – that the first step to personal growth is to be aware, because simply through awareness, we begin to change, to grow, to develop – without inner force. Being aware and being open, I’m starting to see/feel the benefits. Thank you so much for your comment and for opening my mind up further.

    Catalina – yes I see. And of course there is force all around us, and within us, but perhaps just being aware of it helps to live with it with harmony, and perhaps by being aware of it and not trying to get rid of the feeling (which is force), then it will diminish instead of being fed.

    Thank you again everyone. XX

    September 26th, 2014 | #

  15. Margarita says

    Pia, I think you are such an inspiring and insightful lady. Thank you for your beautiful writing. Love from Ireland, x

    October 9th, 2014 | #

  16. Abbie says

    what a lovely post, so inspiring, so glad to have found your blog!

    November 11th, 2014 | #

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