Let’s Talk About Fear…

Let’s talk about “Fear.” How can Fear help? Here’s how: Facing Fear is the key, if only for today, of moving forward. We need to face up to Fear. So, first, let’s talk about Fear.

Our Fear could be lingering Fear left over from something that has happened in the past. Or, it could be Fear caused by questionable conditions in the present.

Perhaps it is Fear of the unknown future. The experience of Fear may be related to sensing the possibility of sudden ambush, or some other warning, danger or peril. On the exterior level, Fear is related to the dread of being startled, apprehended or blocked by outside forces, known or unknown. On the interior level, we may recognize internal Fear as we experience various physiological sensations, maybe quivering or fluttering. Trembling, perhaps or a sinking feeling in your gut.

Fear can manifest as anxiety, depression, disillusion, loneliness or despair. Sometimes I know I am afraid when my “blood boils.” My blood boiling is a feeling of heat and energy rising in my body. This sensation also involves anger – and what is anger but feeling contained in a too-small space? Perhaps the sense, for example, of being misunderstood, or, in some other way, way-too-confined. 

Fear can take us either way: into action – appropriate or inappropriate – or into withdrawal. The sensation of Fear can paralyze us, cripple us, keep us captive, and bind us until it seems we cannot move. We may experience the desire to cover up and disappear. Or, the desire to run away. Or, the desire to fight – depending on the situation. Fear can be a powerful “friend.” And, Fear can be a powerful “foe.”

The point, for us, today, is to look at Fear as a teacher. What can we learn from taking on Fear – face-to-face? And, it is no small point to realize that it is Fear that can keep us from fully embracing our Heart’s Desire. Yes, Fear can arise as a natural ingredient in the process of our seeking. We may Fear something from without, or we may Fear something from within. What about the litany of doubts that goes along with the creative process? The process of change? All the What Ifs? What if I can’t What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if I’m not smart enough? What if I’m not wealthy enough? What if I’m not well enough? What if my resources run out? What if no one is there for me? The list goes on and on and on. 

So, how can we recognize our Fear – and then move beyond it? Or, maybe I should ask, first, Why would we even want to move beyond our Fear? Simply, so that Fear does not hold us back from the rich and full life we wish to inhabit or the deep connection we want with another. At the end of our lives, we do not want to say, Fear held me back. We want to say, I may have felt Fear, but I went for it anyway.

That brings up the question: What is important enough to “go for” “anyway”? The answer lies in our sense of “mission” or “desire” or “passion” for that which we are pursuing (our Heart’s Desire). When you know yourself deeply, why you are “here”, and what you are seeking, Fear may remain with you to some extent, but Fear will no longer be able to overpower you. You will be living proactively. You will be strong in your task. And you will be able to face Death knowing that you gave it your all. Yes, even Death. For one who has not lived to the fullest, Death is an unwelcome master. For one who has lived to the fullest, “Today is a good day to die.”

To bring up a powerful example of what I’m talking about, consider Martin Luther King. Was he afraid? Yes. Did Fear overpower him? No. Why? Because he understood himself and his task. He knew what he was doing. He knew this through contemplation, deep inner work. His inner journey took him “to the mountaintop” – and knowing himself, he could put Fear in its proper place. Even though he felt anxiety, he found his freedom in his cause.

I am not saying I expect you to be Martin Luther King. I am only saying that the way through Fear is to Know Thyself – and to Thine Own Self be True. Facing and overcoming Fear requires self-knowledge – and that is the path we are on. This means that we can walk through Fear by understanding our Love, both inner and outer. We can align with our Love and embrace the New Land that is there waiting for us: within and without.

We could talk about this subject endlessly. It is That Important. But, for now, I will stop here. I will leave you with the mantra: Replace Fear with Awe. Try it out and see what happens. Let’s try it out today, Halloween, the day that the spooks are out and about in a grand show. Yes, let’s start today: let’s face our Fear and move beyond it into the embrace of our Heart’s Desire.

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