fear Feb 17, 2024

The greatest problem with fear is that it keeps us disconnected from our authenticity, our path to healing and growth and most certainly from our greatest purpose.

Direction varies and stories are unique, but in life’s manuscript we all suffer the same antagonist. Yet, the ubiquitous power of fear often escapes us. Anxieties, phobias and typical worries around change or loss, conscious emotions, are what we generally identify as fear.

The reality is that fear holds a much greater role in our lives. In fact, it can be found underneath every negative feeling, behavior or choice. We can find fear in any situation where we are confused, paralyzed, angry, indignant, resentful, dejected or depressed.

Fear is fabulous at being inconspicuous and it is other feelings that rise readily to the surface along with thoughts that seem practical, appropriate, and justified. Nevertheless, if we follow the queue long enough, we will find fear silently waiting at the end. 

Why is fear such a powerful force in our lives? The first part of the answer, the more accessible and more conscious dynamic lies in the reality of our external existence. We are here to learn and grow, but not to control.

While we have influence over many of the details of our lives, and most certainly over how we choose to react to what is placed in front of us, we are subject to peripheral situations for which there is no regulator. As a result, we carry an uneasiness about what is next and how and when our earthly journey will end.

We may be burdened with a fear of death or just the pain that is potentially around every corner. We respond to this deep apprehension by reacting to our environment in various dysfunctional ways, all of which are attempts to protect ourselves from our most foundational fears; pain, loss, death and the lack of control that is connected to it all. Interestingly, like many such concepts, there is a paradox. There are times when we embrace fear. We believe it to be helpful, necessary even.

Certainly, we utilize fear to teach our children how to be safe. But we mistakenly nurture fear when instilling a healthy awareness would suffice. The greatest problem with fear is that it keeps us disconnected from our authenticity, our path to healing and growth and most certainly from our greatest purpose. 

Sitting with fear is uncomfortable and like with all anxieties, our first line of defense is to avoid, or in the case of unconscious fear, to keep it buried. Avoiding fear only reinforces the hold and leads us further away from our true path and purpose.

It is essential to become familiar with the forces that motivate our thoughts, feelings and behaviors in unhelpful ways. Exploiting fear decreases its control and often, we find strength to confront what we thought we couldn’t, understanding that the task is not as daunting as we had first thought.

Unaddressed fear is related to so many of the mental health issues we face today. There is clearly an epidemic of anxiety and depression often follows because anxiety keeps us from making authentic decisions and life choices. Both are related to unmanaged fear whose burden becomes overwhelming and leaks out in negative and destructive ways.

Fear is inextricably linked to our need for control. But there is also a deeper desire for control that is related to our unconscious lives. We embrace the concept of scarcity as we wrongly see ourselves as separate. Scarcity is the misconception that there is only so much good in the world and we must wrestle for what is ours, or we will suffer.

This competitive mindset creates guilt, ultimately creating more fear. The belief in our separateness is similarly misconstrued.  Without defining ourselves in terms of boundaries around our individuality, we unconsciously fear losing our identity altogether.

A negative cycle is created.

We must protect our own interests or potentially lose our self, but hidden in the facade of fictious control, we remain rooted in fear, disconnected from our actual power. In our deepest psyche, we hold guilt for all of our mistakes and shortcomings assuming there are inevitable negative consequences which we attempt to circumvent through a desire for control. 

There is a way to both manage fear and make choices based on our authentic needs rather than the avoidance of pain. Genuine power lies in assessing and altering our perception.  Becoming attentive to our deepest fears enables us to confront them, releasing both their energy and influence.

This requires working to find alignment with our Intrinsic Worth. When we are not present with our Intrinsic Worth, we allow our fear to control us. We give carte blanche to our baser motivations, those that have the paradoxical effect of creating the very negativity we work so hard to avoid.

In fact, we often manifest what we fear by the choices and beliefs we hold close. Replacing shame and guilt with love and forgiveness readies us to live the life we say we want to live yet are too fearful to do so.

The way to understand and ultimately mitigate our fear starts with developing a better connection to our Primary Awareness. Primary Awareness is the knowing part of ourselves, the part that only observes our thoughts and feelings rather than merging with them.

This knowing part is sometimes understood as our highest self, a “behind the scenes” director offering wisdom and guidance when requested. Expanding our relationship with this part of us is an important avenue to discovering Intrinsic Worth, especially if it seems foreign or inaccessible.

Furthermore, our knowing part offers us clarity around our authentic needs, illuminating where fear has confused us. 

Whatever our unique purpose in this lifetime, our shared purpose is love. The antithesis of love is not hate it is fear. It’s been said it is impossible to change what we don’t acknowledge, and this is never truer in the case of fear.

Getting past our fear of fear is something that would benefit us all. We can do this by bringing courageous awareness to the powerful psychological underbelly underneath all of what drives us; our feelings, our belief systems, our choices, our behaviors and our actions. It is only here where we have the ability to reevaluate our choices and forge ahead on the path we most want to follow.

My loving suggestion is to practice “peeling” back the layers that hide fear. When you find yourself in an upsetting situation or are experiencing negative emotion, ask yourself what is underneath the feeling, and underneath that, and so on until you find the fear. If you are willing to go deep enough, you will find it.

You are light. You are love.