The Importance of being Fearless
For as long as I can remember, I have been afraid. Afraid of something, but I don't always know what that something is. I only know that this fear has trapped me, influenced every decision and action in my life and come close to taking my life as well. I cannot count the opportunities I have missed or walked away from due to this fear.
Even as a very young child, I was tremendously afraid. I was terrified of sirens and other loud noises. 4th of July was my nightmare! Going to see fireworks nearly unhinged me. My first memory of kindergarten is of crying hysterically outside the door while my mom bargain and bribes me to let go of her and go inside! This separation anxiety never really left me and reared its ugly head at the most inopportune times, such as sleep overs – usually resulting in my calling my mom or dad to come pick me up from my friend's house in the middle of the night. When I was thirteen, we went to visit my mother's family in Kansas. I was such a trembling ball of fear that my uncle who was a good ole boy, hunter type with three girls and two boys, begged my family to send me to them for a summer so that he could “toughen me up”.
Lately, I have been in such fear of financial ruin that I have become almost paralyzed by it. Let me walk you through my crazy thought process based on this fear. I have had to borrow money to survive and each time I need to ask for help, I am almost physically ill. I put off asking until I am nearly on empty. I also fight with myself about why I am failing to manifest what I want and need in my life when I know how to do this. It seems that I am able to manifest almost everything, except complete financial independence. After I have struggled with myself over all of that, I go to a darker place. In this place, I see myself as a burden to my family and others. I am a failure of the highest proportion - someone who will never get out of this horrible cycle...I even fantasize about being gone – being done, so no one will have to bother with me anymore – so I will no longer be a burden. The cycle of fear, anger and punishment keeps itself going and going and going until there seems to be no way out other than something extreme.
Now given the work that I do and all that I know, you would think that I would naturally just fall back on my faith. Wrong! The other issue I was having was trying to replace this huge unidentified fear with a blanket of faith...this was not working either. I had read everything I could get my hands on and done all the exercises to try and overcome this issue with faith. But, my fear was so deeply embedded in me that until I really understood what I was afraid of, I could not simply try to overpower the fear with faith.
But, I digress...let me tell you the entire fear story....
Perhaps the worst part of being such a fearful child was learning how to manipulate others into giving me what I wanted and therefore never having to learn how to walk through that fear. I was always able to find a way to quit or stop short of having to face my fear and this behavior was usually supported by my mother; of course, she had no way of knowing that this would haunt me later in life. Long story short, I was overprotected and guarded my entire life. I never grew up, nor learned how to face life on my own in a complete and mature way. My fear kept me a child and as such, I stayed completely dependent on my family rather than finding my own family to start and work towards.
In order to deal with this fear, I learned to control every aspect of my life including people. I became the A+ student, the teacher's pet, the “people-pleaser”. Even though my peers were not that impressed, I knew I had to please the adults at all costs. In high school, I was blessed with swimming talent and became the first freshman to swim varsity that year, breaking records left and right. Suddenly, I was incredibly popular with teachers, parents and finally, my peers. When I lost a uniform sweater that I was particularly attached to, I formed an intention in my mind that I would, at all costs, find that sweater if it took me the entire year! It didn't and I did find it. I share this with you to illustrate just how controlling I was in an effort to avoid the fear that chased me.
Everything came unglued for me when I started college. My entire high school social life was focused on my boyfriend (a track star to my swimming star) who I met when I was fourteen. He was one year older and together, we were going to save the world or at least, save the youth in the world! We were focused, motivated and totally committed. When he left for college that year before me, I lost my focus and commitment. I stopped swimming, tried out for the senior play and made it, started dating someone who was considered a “bad boy” (but wasn't) and somewhere in there, I fooled myself into thinking that I had rid myself of that awful fear – finally!
But, fear is a tricky business. If you don't face it, you don't end it...you cannot run from it and you cannot hide from it. You might be able to lull it into a corner where it sits quietly waiting for you to forget it is there and that is exactly what I did. I forgot about it until it got tired of sitting in that corner.
When I went off to college, I was a prime target for that fear. I no longer had parents asking me to achieve something. I no longer needed to perform for my teachers and make them happy. I was enrolled at UC Berkeley where everyone, especially as a freshman, was anonymous. The school was too large for there to be any other arrangement. At the time, I didn't realize this, but every one of my reasons for being were gone and suddenly I was lost. I had no idea how to create a life for myself. Most importantly, I didn't really even know who I was or what I wanted because I had spent so much time being defined by the people that I could please.
Over time, controlling the fear didn't work anymore and I was becoming depressed, anxious and angry. I had found therapy and a way to blame all of this dysfunction on everyone else. Unfortunately, that approach never really worked and certainly didn't free me from the fear; it only made me angrier.
Most importantly, the amount of time that I dedicated to avoiding fear kept me from finding out who I was and what I really wanted in this world. That made me even angrier – but at whom?
When my mother died in 1991, I was thirty years old and convinced that my fear of losing her is what caused her to die young. I remember noticing when my mom died what an impression she had made on everyone. People who only knew her briefly cried about her passing; the sad thing is she never knew just how much her light shown in this world. You see, she was also living in fear. She lived in fear her entire life and as a consequence, she never realized just how special she was to this world.
I look back at my twenties and thirties and realize the same thing. Although I made a huge impact on certain people in my life, I could never enjoy who I was because I really did not believe I was enough. So by the time my mother died, I was already a wreck. Add in my even deeper depression and anger and I was just searching for any way out. I found it in illness and chronic physical pain. The answer I thought, was in treating that physical pain and illness with a correct diagnosis, appropriate medical intervention and, of course, mind-numbing narcotics. Once again, I found a way to sedate the fear and return it to the corner.
All of this is something I am sharing with you because I want you to search your own story. Find out where you are hiding from fear and what that fear is about. Our entire world is built on and ruled by fear – fear that there is not enough, fear of differences and mainly, a fear that none of us will ever be enough. The media and governments keep this fear alive and use it to their advantage. The only way to keep the majority of people under the control of an elite few is to frighten the masses. Once they are sufficiently frightened, then this elite can swoop in and assure the panicked ones that they have an answer. The truth is that there is no real answer except to realize that there is really nothing to fear. Failing that, the elite few will always retain the power and it is in their best interest to maintain the illusion of fear so that the masses will remain submissive.
What are the results of fear in a society? I have already discussed control and anger. The other problem is judgment. People who are fearful are constantly working to identify a possible threat and that is usually other people. In order to stay one step ahead of the threat, we need to know what that threat is or who it is and what that person or persons is about. So we judge. We size them up to see if we can take them on or do we need to run away (fight or flight).
Often times, we first try to use ego to overpower our fear; in an effort to fool ourselves into thinking we are not the ones with a problem, we focus on others and judge continuously. By doing this, we always can blame someone else for our lack of power in life...we are the victim. Unfortunately, after a period of time, we find that we are not receiving the same satisfaction or escape from this pattern and we are forced once again, to look at ourselves.
I have also watched people acquire and hoard money in an attempt to control or diffuse their fear. The idea being that if they have enough cash flow, they will never be in a position to face something they cannot control or fix; however, this again is just avoiding the inevitable. There is never enough money to keep bad things from happening in life.
Control, anger, judgment, etc. all of these are very low frequency emotions. When we stay in anger, judgment and fear, we are vibrating as energy at a very low rate; this is what can cause illness in the body after a period of time. I would venture to say that, like me, most of my clients are incredible perfectionists who control every part of their lives as a result of the terrible fear they are living in.
Most importantly, fear and love are diametrically opposed. One cannot live in both at the same time. As long as you are running from or not facing your fear, you will never be able to truly find and stay in love. You might experience love for a period of time and during that time you will have raised your vibration high enough to feel that you are free from your fear, but it cannot last. Eventually, that fear will show itself and cause you to plummet to a low frequency once again. The two simply cannot occupy the same space for any length of time. Unfortunately, fear has been given so much power in most of our lives that it will win out.
When we have established a pattern over a lifetime, that pattern, even if it is detrimental to us, becomes familiar and what we know; leaving that well worn path can be more frightening and painful than the pain we are experiencing from the pattern itself and that is most often why people do not change. It is only through inspiration or desperation that we are prone to seek out a different way of being.
There are lots of resources out there that promise to help you eliminate fear! I have read and tried to use many of them, but to no avail. Change can happen in an instant, but it is the time leading up to that instant that usually takes the longest! People will change for one of two reasons – inspiration or desperation. In my case, sometimes it takes a bit of both!
Today, the fear was too great for me to continue the way I was going. I have developed heartburn which I have never had before. I am grinding my teeth and experiencing stomach pains. All the result of fear. Something had to change, but what? Finally, that small voice gave me the way...”Walk through your fear, beginning to end. See just what you are afraid of if you run out of money or don't have enough money.”
I forced myself to walk through this entire fear from beginning to end. What was I really afraid of? Am I more afraid of asking for help and appearing to be unsuccessful to my family or what is the fear really about? I thought it through slowly and in detail, from beginning to end – no money, becoming homeless, being afraid of living alone on the streets, being attacked, dying on the streets...Wait a minute, dying on the streets. And then, BOOM...it hit me! If the end result either way was death (from dying on the streets or suicide) what was the big deal? Just what was I so afraid of?
I was afraid of being afraid! That was it! And that was all it was...my fear of my fear! Once I saw this and felt it inside my essence, all the fear that I had kept for years just drained out of my body and as it did, I was lighter, relieved of all that burden!
So...there you have it. Fear of Fear! Remember when we were kids and there was a monster under the bed or in the closet? It inevitably grew larger and larger if we stayed in our beds and did not face it. But, once we found the flashlight and summoned up our courage to get out of bed, we found there was no monster at all – we had been afraid of being afraid!
I urge you all to take time to journal, draw or talk about your fear. Identify it...keep searching until you really, really find what it is you are afraid of and then walk it through from beginning to end. What is the absolute worst case scenario? See all of it in detail and when you get to the end, ask yourself if that worse case scenario is really all that bad?
David Hawkins in Power vs. Force states that every fear boils down to the fear of death. Once we eliminate that fear, we can be free from all the other fears in our life. Think about it...really digest that fear that you carry and decide if it is worth lugging it around or if maybe, just maybe you are only afraid of being afraid. And if so, then get out of bed and shine a light on that monster. I assure you, it will disappear instantly!
And the most beautiful part of eradicating fear? Faith. Once you allow that fear to drain out of your body, you can then fill up that space with faith and all that brings – blessings, comfort and miracles. Not a bad trade!