FEAR: FRIEND OR FOE?

 

     Fear has been both friend and foe. A lot of us who think we are becoming more spiritually conscious think that we should be exempt from fear of any kind. We also say that we know how fear can keep us from doing things we want to do or from being what we want to be. We talk about how love can overcome any fear. All of these are true to a point. But fear can be a friend. It can keep us from throwing all caution to the wind, not using our common sense, or not recognizing danger. Some times it is difficult to say whether or not a fear is a friend or a foe.

     There is a lot of things that go into how much fear a person may be experiencing at any given time. Perhaps someone is threatening your life or you are in the mist of a war zone. That fear is your friend to help you do things to stay as safe as possible but there is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid harm or death. Sometimes you have fears from simply not knowing. Not knowing can send you into panic mode. No one likes to feel fear. Most of us don’t like to report to anyone that we have any fears because we might appear to be less spiritual or weak in some way. It takes more guts to say you have some fears than to lie to yourself and others. This is not to say you should continue growing your fears or burden others with them either.

     I was curious about where fear forms in the brain. It comes from the Amygdala in the brain. What causes some people’s to be larger than others? What causes some people to tend to be more fearful in general that others? Why is it that some people can take a ride in an amusement park, enjoy the thrill and want to do it again while others are practically having a panic attack just imagining it? Are we taught fear, do we learn to fear from experiences that we have been through or is there some mechanism in some of us that is out of balance or malformed or damaged or over or under developed in our brains or our nervous system or some organ that causes us to be more fearful or less fearful than others? I would say yes to all of these possibilities.

     We can face some of our fears and overcome them to a certain degree in various ways but can we find ourselves caught back up in a fear loop just when we thought we no longer had issues with that particular thing? My own experience tells me that we can at any time. How do we know if someone is fearful? Some are very good at hiding such feelings or pushing them down burying them, using distractions, or medicating them until they reach the boiling point and the fear or fears have totally taken over common sense and perhaps destroyed or misused the life we could have had.

     So what is the good news? We have tools to deal with fear and it’s cousin anxiety. Use those tools wisely. Learn that fear is part of life and can give us warning signs. Unfounded or emotional fears can be helped through psychotherapy, breathing techniques, meditation, tapping and relaxation techniques and others. Naming the fear and facing it is the only way through. Some give their fears to God. Whatever it takes there is no right or wrong but stuffing the fears can make your life miserable. Telling yourself you should NOT have these fears or that you are failing as a spiritual being if you have them or that you are a weakling doesn’t help either and,it isn’t true.

     They say where there is love, there is no fear and yet fear is part of being human no matter it’s origin. We can, however, learn to change what we able to change and learn to accept and live with what we cannot change. Make peace with your erroneous fears, listen to them, learn from them and make them subjects to the rule of your heart as much as possible. That’s all I know to do from where I sit this moment. And this now is all I have.

 

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