Is fear beneath a number of our problems?
After working with many different people with a variety of struggles, often there is a commonality beneath the presenting issue. That commonality is fear. It is obviously not the only experience at the core of an issue, but for many it is something that is not being addressed. We don’t always know when we are afraid. It is not always a pounding heart and tense chest. The brain has many mechanisms to help us disconnect from fear when it is too overwhelming, and it can then turn into an often deceptive form of suffering. When fear is left unattended it can rule our life, limit our love, strain our career, and wound the body. Fear might be one reason you can’t sustain a relationship. Or maybe it is the reason you are irritable all the time. Or it could be the reason you can’t create what you need in your life professionally. Or it might be the reason you feel unstable and crazy. Or maybe it is showing up as an incredibly speedy mind.
We need new tools to face fear in ourselves. We need help in acknowledging that we get afraid, sometimes terrified. How many people actually feel they know how to work with fear to harness its energy, rather than run from it or pretend its not there? We need to learn how to stare fear in the eyes to see what it actually is and how it can actually help us.
Here are some basic tips in working with fear:
- Identify what you are most afraid of.
- Feel it in the body, where is it, what shape is it, what color is it, what type of pain does it cause.
- When you are safe and alone, or in good company, allow yourself to express the felt sense of fear through conscious, healing movements. Maybe that looks like squeezing your hands, or crawling into a corner and curling up in a ball. This is important in order to thaw out the freeze of fear, or to tame the fight and flight from fear. In other words, don’t take it out on others or on yourself.
- Let the fear come out as sounds while staying connected to the fear. Instead of shouting and yelling and impulsive expression, find the sound that represents the fear: maybe you need to growl or bark or moan in discomfort.
- Write about the fear as a character in a story.
- Journal about the fear.
- Ask for love. Deep healing care. Practice fully receiving.
- Take full responsibility for the fear you feel internally.
- Work hard at creating safe relationships and safe environments.
- If you are not in a safe environment and it is out of your control, trust your fear as a mechanism calling for change!
- Find someone who can help midwife you through this fundamental human experience.