Tag Archives: Fear

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.

 

FINDING LOVE IN YOUR FEAR

Have you ever found yourself loving something or someone so much you killed the joy you would have had had you not held on so tightly? Have you ever been so scared or afraid of something or someone that you found yourself backed into a corner that left few if no options open and then wondered why you felt like the life was sucked out of you? Have you ever wondered why other people seem to live a life of fullness that seems so unreachable to you? I think if we are honest we all have experienced these things and may still be experiencing them.

True love has an ability above the natural, human sense of our understanding and it comes from an experience you have within yourself. Does it matter what method got you there? No. Is there more ways than one to awaken to this? Yes. Once you start with that Love, then you can begin to see how it minimizes or vanishes negative reactions, thoughts, and beliefs. (That is material for another chapter all by itself.) When your reactions, thoughts and beliefs are under the care and leadership of that Love, the blocks and millstones around your neck that make life seem like a very unpleasant experience day after day after day, will start changing for the better. You see things differently, maybe not at first, but it comes at its own pace with each individual. Soon you can switch you viewpoint before you react or pass judgments, or become despondent or upset which can lead to more damage. So, it’s like damage control before it happens.

OUR FEARS: We fear losing a person we love through accidents, deaths, disease, or because they separated from us for some reason – through disagreements, misunderstandings, distance in miles, or because one grew and the other person did not. We fear losing control of our emotions, other people’s emotions, or of losing control over the things that are beyond our ability to do anything about. We fear we will “fail” in our jobs, in our relationships, and we fear we may make the “wrong” decisions. We fear about our physical presentation, that we may not be handsome or pretty enough, tall enough, smart enough or the right weight according to standards that may or may not be our own. We fear we may lack in enough goods, or necessities or we may fear not keeping up with what we think we should have because everyone else has these. We may fear becoming old or sick and death is something we know will come but are never ready for it seems.

REACTIONS TO FEAR: With fear comes comes things like emotional pain, sadness, being overwhelmed, nervousness, anxiety, anger and depression. Physical reactions are pain, illness, rashes, and other disabilities. Then comes anything we can grab onto that we think will make all that go away. We push the emotions down, we run away from facing what we need to face and we fail to take appropriate actions. Some of us turn to drugs, to alcohol, to smoking, to getting into new and often worse relationships, we try to live vicariously through our children and cause them problems, we eat too much, we over spend or gamble, we drive recklessly or we pick up some other dangerous, self-destructive behavior or habit or increase the ones we already have including hoarding in order to do anything but face and work through the pain.

THE APPLICATION OF THE FIX: Sometimes one of the easiest fixes is to remove yourself from a relationship that is causing pain for one or both parties (and it will be both parties in the end) if couples therapy, other therapy, negotiations, counseling, and any other attempts to make peace, make love and not war, and to open up honest and loving dialog does not work. Sometimes you need healing and this can be done through many tools: therapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), breath work, reading all the self-help books on your particular subject, workshops that are geared to healing, treating yourself to massage, learning meditation, yoga, ti chi, and starting or expanding spiritual practices are just some examples. When the student is ready the teacher/method/book/person/ tool that is needed will appear. In my earlier days of healing, one of the things I did was to enter college to learn psychology and my desire was to become a therapist, a healer to others but I also knew that I needed to heal myself and to continue that road to healing if I were to ever hope be a help to anyone else. Some of the books that I became aware of and picked up along the way was a few different books about adult children of alcoholics and this was just one area I learned about that started me on my way to understanding myself a whole lot better so that I might be more able to heal. Why I felt as I felt or reacted the way I did to certain things became ah-ha moments for me. I did a paper on the subject and eventually started an Adult Children of Alcoholics group in the community in which I was doing my practicum. Each person has to research what tools might be available to them and make use of them. We do the work but sometimes we need the help of professionals or those in the business of helping or teaching us about some of the modalities that will benefit us. We now have a new branch of helpers called life coaches who incorporate different methods of help depending upon their field of education, their experiences, and where they learned what they use in their practice.

In any case, the beginning of having a better life, of healing of things you don’t even know that ail you, is to know yourself, to face what is bothering you, to pay attention to what is going on in your head, and to have a strong desire to make your life the beautiful experience you want it to be, that you know somehow it should be, and one which the Creator intended it to be.  Your desire for this has to be bigger than your fear or doubts that keep you where you are.

As you progress, you will find that Love will begin to bring this fullness into your life. You will find that love inside of you that is Divine, that really is all that is, will change how you see yourself, others, circumstances and events. It will not guarantee freedom from anything you fear but rather will give you power over these things and will see you through the rough patches of life. The bumps and pits will no longer be impediments or impossible to handle, It will put the straight in your crooked, the light in your dark and peace in your turmoil. You will have found Love in the midst of Fear.