Day 286 of #LiveWell2017
Someone once told me “fear is a great source of power.” I suppose it can motivate one to action, but my experience is that it has more of a paralyzing effect. When I am fearful, I tend to withdraw, to want to hide, to cover up my fear with sometimes inappropriate or unhealthy activities. Fear takes me down a dark path and catapults me out of the present into a self-manufactured future that feels like the worst horror stories you’ve ever imagined. Fear makes me selfish and self-centered. When I let fear get to me, it brings out the worst in me. Fear acts like a thief in the night, stealing my NOW, my joy, my life while I sleep.
There is only one way I’ve found to conquer my fear. I have to feel it, acknowledge it, embrace it, wrap my arms around it, and then shove its ass out the door. How? By writing down what I fear, and asking why I’m afraid over and over again until I get to the root of the fear. Often I discover that my fear is completely unfounded. Sometimes it is just a way to avoid doing something or to avoid learning the truth. Sometimes it feels real and scary and unavoidable. But, always, fear takes me away from the present moment, stealing my time and my energy.
Once I’ve identified what I’m afraid of and why – really, truly why – then I take some deep breaths – in, out, in, out – and acknowledge my fear and its roots. I use my breathing to mentally embrace my fear (inhale) and push it away (exhale). I remind myself that my fear is not me, that it will pass, it is just my thoughts and emotions, it is fog in the sky and will disappear with the sun. And then I find my sunshine by acknowledging those things I am grateful for in that moment, in this day, in this life. I begin to look outside myself and find ways to help someone else. It is these acts of kindness, compassion, and sharing with others that turn the fog of fear into the light of love and set me back on my path of wonder and wisdom.
Fear is a great source of power. It can destroy the gifts of the present. But embracing it, acknowledging it, and letting it go can power the world with love and light.
How do you react to fear? I’d love to know.
Turn the fog of fear into the light of love.
This is another wonderful writing. The whole article is spot on, but your first two paragraphs especially resonate with me at this point in my life. Understanding the impact of fear on all of our lives is also an excellent method to bring to mind when trying to understand each other as well. I used to follow a daily practice of doing one thing a day that scared me, no matter how small, and most of them were very small (there’s a lot to be afraid of out there, lol!). Each day when I thought of NOT doing something because that little thought of fear entered my head, I’d say “this is my fear to walk thru today, I can do this!” As a result, I did hundreds of scary things….and felt alive, vibrant and happy! Your writing reminded me to put that practice back into my daily life, I gratefully thank you for that, Deb! Namaste.
I can relate, Carolyn. That’s a great daily practice. I used to face my bigger fears in a similar way, for example, I have a serious fear of heights, so I hired a professional rock climber to take me climbing in Montana.