FEAR...the OTHER four letter F word. I'm reflecting today about how crippling fear is, how it keeps us repeating patterns that don't serve us in truly stepping into living with complete integrity towards ourselves and our true nature. Whether that be in our personal lives, relationships or career choices.
Largely based on past events, we create the idea that we have experienced adversity - that we have been harmed as a result. And in doing so, judgements are made. We take that experience and it take it into the future, allowing it to become the driver and we become its passenger. We become stagnant and stale like a pool of murky water that begins to host a plethora of negating thoughts and attitudes that further hinder us in moving forward. Past experience does not have to dictate or create who we want to be going forward.
Human beings are wired in such a way that we associate what we perceive to be pleasurable as a good experience, and those that bring us pain as bad. We seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Pain intertwines itself with the moments in which we have felt a loss or lack, and because we would rather avoid feeling that, we begin to build walls and create obstacles that lead us to close ourselves up. So, we create a fear surrounding that experience and instead of being present, we are in fear of our future based on those past events.
What I’ve come to see is that the fears I have held have all had a way of showing up – over and over again. It’s been a bit like a broken record player playing the same old song over and over. That song has ingrained itself so deeply within me, that I can hear it playing in the background even on the best of days. Fears of abandonment, not being good enough (which in my case displayed itself through my quest for “perfection”), acceptance, and approval – the list goes on and on. We all have our choice list of fears, many of them rooted in self-preservation.
I’ve considered myself to be relatively self-aware; and was cognisant of my fears but the problem was I got stuck there and didn’t take action. I kept showing up in a similar fashion or slightly modified version and was still living at the effect of my fears. That led those fears to keep me captive and took my power away. I was still hiding, not doing or saying the things that I wanted to say.
So as I always say, push comes to shove and if we don’t listen to the whispers, things get loud. Impossibly loud and avoidance no longer works. I like to think of it as Divine Intelligence, we are being directed to live our truth and to stand in it. To live in integrity, with our true nature – the highest version of ourselves. That is our God given right.
And the choice is ours.
So now what? What do we do when we are allowing our fears to cripple us and keep us from stepping up? Stuck in a dead end job, unhealthy relationship, minimizing ourselves just because we are trying to keep our ship from sinking. The costs of that taking a heavy toll and burdening our souls.
We seek some degree of certainty about the future and the truth is certainty is a fallacy. We can be blindsided at any moment; job loss, health issues, the ending of a relationship, the things that are not within our control. In our attachment to a perceived favorable outcome we are making a choice to be in judgement rather than placing trust in what Divine Intelligence is bringing us to. We are the cause of our own suffering.
We can begin the process of unwinding those fears and the stories we have created surrounding them. As Byron Katie says, “Ask yourself, is it really true?” Then, we can begin to balance our perception of the events that led us to think this way. Think back to that moment in the past, where this fear first presented itself, begin to look at how that experience served you. What did you learn from it? How did it help you?
No event is one sided, there are equal benefits and drawbacks in everything that has ever happened to you.
Once we can attain neutrality we begin to move away from judgement, resentment and fear. We come to a place of gratitude, the highest form of thought reinforcing once again the trust we can place in Divine Intelligence that we are all a part of. In doing so we can release the grip that fear holds over us.
“Nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron