Comfortable feeling uncomfortable?
Would you agree that we have in fact become so accustomed to fear that we don’t even notice its’ constant presence in our lives? What is behind seriousness, for example, if not fear? Do we not use fear to drive/motivate ourselves and others? Maybe the fear of being left behind- not keeping up with the Jones– motivates you? Then: If you don’t you had better watch out!?I
Is it possible to be addicted to fear?
Fear generates adrenaline and cortisol – we can become dependent on these hormones to get us going! Over time, as with any drug, we have to increase the dosage to get the same effect, look at the movies from 20 years ago compared to the ones today for example.
Fear has different levels:
Background anxiety that is constantly there at the back of one’s mind, that on-going concern about making ends meet for example.
Tension, connected with fears about the outcome of something.
Worry, due to speculating about all that may go wrong in future.
Nervousness, connected with facing our fears.
Fear itself, Forget Everything and Run
What is behind fear(s)?
Fear is always connected with the future and with loss.
Let us look at some of our fears:
– Fear of failure or success. These two are opposite sides of the same coin. Fear of failure is connected to fear of losing face (self-image) and reputation. Fear of success is a fear of loss of the image I have of myself of being inadequate and incapable. Success means to step out of ‘this’ comfort zone. Our deepest comfort zone is our self image, to do so is to risk no longer knowing who I am (loss of identity) and this paralyses me.
– Fear linked with desires. The moment we desire something – even when it is still just a thought in our minds – the fear of losing it turns up. If it as yet only a thought… to not attain our desire means to have lost it though! Furthermore, we fan this by concerns about how to ensure and secure this possession.
– Isolation also creates fear. Our society talks of survival of the fittest and looking after number one, this creates feeling of being in competition with each other and of not enough to go around. So isolating ourselves for ‘survival’ we experience loneliness and with this comes the fear that life may continue so for ever (loss of connection). The more our society becomes fragmented (young/old, educated/uneducated, rich/poor, etc.) the more we build the barriers of isolation around ourselves and our fear of each other grows.
– Fear and identification. We are no longer sure who we are, so we identify with the many roles we play: mother, daughter, friend, foe, clever, joker, boss, employee, etc. We have multiple personalities! Do you not find that you behave differently with different people/in different roles? Our consciousness has become fragmented.
– Fear and attachment (dependency). We have become dependent on people and things. A sign of dependency = we become upset when something happens to that person or thing. Life is a relationship, here we have developed the wrong sort of relationship with people and things. What you do with a person or thing in your mind is the consideration here, if they are constantly in your mind and so shaping your thoughts and actions then you are not free but dependent. Also, you will never be totally happy as freedom and happiness go hand in hand.
Do you want to be free from fear?
There is only one method to cure fear and that is to do that which you are afraid of. ‘To feel the fear and do it anyway’. Just thinking about it won’t do the trick either, in fact it increases our fear and makes it more deeply ingrained. The only way to dis-empower fear is to face it and walk through it, all emotions are like mists/fogs and once we go into them they disappear.
What about love?
What is love? Would you say that it is the opposite to fear? It is not exactly the opposite rather it is a higher state of consciousness and awareness, an elevated and uplifted consciousness. It is also our core and deepest state of being. When we know love we know that this is our true and natural state of being, when there is true love there is wholeness, oneness, unity, contentment and I neither want anything nor do I need anything as I have everything. Love is empathy, encouragement, patience, kindness, appreciation, listening, understanding, selflessness, compassion, lightness and easiness. Love is the highest of all values.
Paradoxically this can seem scary? The face of true love is like a mirror, we are afraid to look into it as it mirrors our darkness as well as our light. We have become used to living in darkness and fear and so can feel threatened by true love as it means moving out of this comfort zone. Our greatest fear is of love as to go into the light of love we have to let go of everything that we are holding onto.
It is as if we are on the surface and holding on to many supports, to go within we have to let go of them. First we need to acknowledge our fear, next look it in the face and then act anyway. When we act we find that it has no power and like a mist just dissipates as if never existed. Courage is the ability to let go of the illusion that fear is real.
Love is what I am. It is the oxygen of the soul and we are designed to breathe it in and out. To give/emanate it and receive/absorb it. Now we are exchanging the energy of fear and becoming more and more fragmented, isolated and afraid of each other. Love heals our fragmentation and unifies. In relationships when there is love there is connection but no dependency, neediness or desire. If any one of these are pesent we move into fear.