Updated: Jan 6, 2019
This is a blog I have been playing with for more than a year. The desire to write about fear came as I walked out of a Vipassana retreat; a retreat during which I listening to multiple lectures on the idea that fear does not exist!
Fear is such a big topic, one that touches most of us, that I did not know where to start. I feared writing about fear! Ironic!
Given that fear is a component of intolerance, my previous blog, it became clear that now is the right time to face my own fears...and write about it.
So what is fear? Fear is that incapacitating, debilitating feeling; that feeling that seems to control you, take over your mind and body like a dementor, that turns you into a jittering sweaty mess, fear...
I do not believe that fear is not real. I can feel fear, we all can, it is a physiological response. What I have realised is that fear occurs only when we are projecting ourselves in the future. What happens when we are fearing something and what do I mean by projecting ourselves in the future?
If we stop and feel the feelings of fear, hear the sounds of fear and see what we see when we feel fear we are very often taking a past experience and taking it into the future. Take a fear of strangers or of foreigners, for example. Most of us were brought up with "stranger danger", you do not speak to strangers, never go with a stranger anywhere... Now, this is a very very good thing, I have brought my son up in the same way, and I also believe that if we do not let go of these instructions as we grow up, we hold on to a fear that turns into fear of "the other". We fear what they can do to us. We fear that "they" will take our house, our car, our possessions away from us. We fear that "they" will hurt and harm us. We fear pain, physical or material loss inflicted on us by “the other”. All these things have not happened yet and may probably never happen, all these are possible worst-case scenarios of a projection into the future. A film we are playing in our heads.
To take this closer to home, when my ex-husband left me with a small baby I was crippled with fear and anxieties. Doubts were feeding this fear, am I going to survive? Will I be able to provide? Will my son turn out ok? Will I find a job? And so on.....A few years on, I am blessed with a fantastic teenager and a wonderful man by my side. Did fear help me? Not at all. What helped me was to start living one day at a time, taking one step at a time and starting to believe in myself, building up my own power as a woman, as a mother, and as me. The whole story actually turned out, in the end, to be a blessing in disguise.
Fear does not crop up when we are mindfully living in the present. When we are anchored in the "now" when we allow ourselves to explore our world. To be open and curious about all things around us, about life. When we allow our inner child to come out and play and show us the gifts this world and life has for us. When we allow ourselves to speak to "the other", to open up and be vulnerable. Because in vulnerability is where our real strength and beauty lie. Our power to transform and embrace. Our ability to change and grow. Our ability to free ourselves from fear does not mean becoming fearless. It is about understanding the nature of fear, allowing ourselves to feel deeply into what is and becoming curious.
If your are interested in finding more freedom by letting go of fear contact me for a coaching programme.