No one is exempt from fear. It comes in all shapes and sizes, from the wave of weakness that engulfs us like a tsunami, to the dull sick feeling gnawing away on the fringes of our consciousness, to the prickle of skin. It keeps us awake at night. We eat and drink too much to try and silence its presence.
Fear can serve us well, or diminish us.
Without fear we would be eaten by lions. A healthy dose of fear keeps us alive, growing. The attempt to completely remove fear from our life is only achieved through artifice and addictions.
Fear gets its power by our not looking at the fear or what we are afraid of. Read this sentence again. It’s important. Fear gets its power by our not looking at the fear or what we are afraid of.
The most common and indeed genetically and biologically programmed response to fear is to run from it. And when it is a hungry lion that is the source of fear, running would be advisable.
However, in our adult development, running from the source of fear is only going to keep the fear brewing and growing, an emotional cancer.
We must learn to turn towards it. Examine it, become acquainted with its source. What is it we are afraid of. At the core?
Or, to put it another way, to what have we given authority? For fear is the relinquishing of our authority to another person, experience, memory, entity, place….
We may have given our authority to a bullying father image, a tyrant mother, a memory from childhood, being rejected, not being picked, not having enough x, y or z….
To give our authority means that in a certain set of conditions, the part of us who is triggered by fear takes over from the part of us who knows better. The memory or experience now has more authority over me than I have over me. With my permission…often granted unconsciously! Which is why we need to turn towards our fear and understand its origins.
Is this easy to do? No. Not at all. But I recommend it. When we take our authority back we are simultaneously becoming more whole. Fragments of us are not triggered randomly by events.