The bravest people in the world are not fearless; they simply use that fear to motivate them instead of paralyzing them.
Fear is connected with something that once happened to us, some pain that imprinted upon our conscious mind yet the exact cause of that pain is hidden in the subconscious. I have a fear of confrontation. It hurts. That is not my adult experience of confrontation but my inner reaction to the thought of it. I feel myself being struck by something large and cold whenever there is a confrontation. It stops me. In my mind I know that I am equal to the situation, but in my gut I feel as though I am only two inches tall. I understand that it is the same feeling that I had during all of the fighting in my home as a child. I am certainly not a child anymore and if I carried the fear in from a past life, I am not there anymore either. However, the truth is that the conscious mind and all of its logic has about as much power over the subconscious programming as a pea has over the rotation of the earth. So, the problem with fear is that knowing the cause, even remembering the initial incident does not erase it. Again, fear is not logical and it is not subject to reason, it is based upon something that was proven to be a fact and can be removed only by proving it to be wrong. I read somewhere that courage is not being without fear; it is acting in spite of it.
Fear is self-perpetuating. Once we are afraid, that energy grows. What makes fear so much more powerful is that it is actually an ominous feeling that has absolutely no words. When dealing with worries we can rationalize them because there are things that go through our minds. Yet when we are struck by fear it is really this huge dangerous overwhelming nothing. It is a nothing because we don’t think it, we don’t see it – it is just a feeling suspended in the gut. Fear is a ghost in the machine of our being. There is no enemy so powerful as the one you cannot see – this is fear and fear is the greatest unknown.
Fear has a moment in which it immediately propels us back to a feeling that we had.
We actually fear only two things death and abandonment. Every experience in our lives that instills an unexplainable overwhelming sense of fear in us is infusing us not with reality, but with the translation of the subconscious mind. The subconscious sees something that could cause one of those two dangerous outcomes. If we have had past lives, we have died. When I was born I spent two weeks in an incubator – I had an enormous fear of abandonment – abuse me, berate me but don’t abandon me. There was a time that I could not even handle anyone saying, “Goodbye”. We are transported back to a time when we were in a situation that reminds our subconscious of this one. It shows us how we suffered, but not why or where or when. It is not impressed by the fact that this is a different situation. My mother used to pull my hair when she was angry at me. My father used to catch me by my braids to beat me. Into my thirties I automatically jumped or covered my head if someone raised their hand for anything, it was embarrassing. As soon as my hair gets too long I cut it off. I cut it off because I like it better short. But I don’t really know if I do. I don’t know that my subconscious mind which causes me to flinch or jump back when someone raises their hand – doesn’t cause me to feel the overwhelming need to cut my hair off and I simply interpret my subconscious fear of long hair as a fashion statement. It just tells us that something feels dangerous, if we ignore the warning, it will cause us to sabotage our efforts. Most often, we can’t simply walk through fear; we have to fight with all of our might, as if we were walking through an emotional hurricane to get to the other side.
Sometimes it just finishes the sentence for us, we don’t even feel the anxiety of it but we react to the situation as though we know how it will turn out. In this way we sabotage our efforts and begin to destroy a successful situation because our fear writes the script of the future. The subconscious mind is one of symbols, not words. It began creating its database before we knew words. I was afraid to ask for help, afraid of the pain of rejection. I don’t ever remember not being afraid to ask. As I mentioned before I was in an incubator when I was born. This was not a time when there was an understanding that infants need to be held and touched. So for the first two weeks of my life my needs, my cries probably were not really responded to. This fear had a terrible effect on my life on my relationships.
We have to remember that the subconscious mind is like a computer, garbage in garbage out. It tells us that it feels like something familiar. We re-feel a past event that had a painful consequence. We re-feel the situation but we do not necessarily re-play the situation. This is the value of fear and this is the problem with it. It says, “Danger, danger!!” but because it does not re-play the situation we cannot see exactly what that danger was so that we can compare it to what the current situation is. From this moment on it is up to us to examine the situation. It is important that the moment that fear advises us that something feels familiar it must be checked. Just because it smells like smoke does not mean the building is burning it could just be a stick of incense. However, fear will go there if it is free to travel at will. Take from fear its only gift. Allow fear to awaken us, allow fear to awaken our senses, but not our imagination. Listen to what it knows but never let it think. Fear is always attached to the past; its eyes are in the back. Fear makes us react much faster than we ever would if we consciously processed the information. Sometimes that saves lives, and sometimes it destroys them. We have to question our reactions, our fear and if it is in the way of a better life, we need to fight our way through it – once. After we make it to the other side once, it becomes easier and easier. Once we make it through we have taken the threat out of the program.
When we feel fear, we need to be in the current situation. Fear is there to tell us to wake up to the situation. So each time that we feel fear we must see clearly. If the situation that we see is really not related to what we are feeling, we must fight through the fear. Each time that we do this our fear will diminish. Fear is part of our survival instinct. Instincts do not discriminate. Our fears hold us back. There are often possibilities just on the other side of our fears that we never realize. I have wanted so often for someone to touch me but could not reach out. This invisible wall stood between the other person and me, this wall of fear. I was a bundle of fears, fear of reaching out, fear of confrontation, fear standing out, even fear of showing fear. I finally made the decision to act as if I were not afraid.
I reached the point where the pain of living within the limits set by my fears felt excruciating than having whatever I feared actualize. So I began, slowly, each time I was in a situation where I felt constricted by fear acting as if it were not there. It gets easier. I don’t think that it goes away. I am still encircled by my fears, but today I can walk through them with much more ease and not cower within their limits.
There are two distinct kinds of fear. One is rational one is not. A fear is rational when what you are afraid of is clear. If you are on the edge of a cliff, what will happen if you fall is clear. If someone is facing you with a gun, what could happen is clear. Even when we have unprotected sex, what could happen is clear. These are real fears that should be heeded. Fear is based on protection. We just have to know if we really need to be protected from what we are afraid of. We must confront our fears, and analyze our reactions, because the subconscious mind is powerful, it can trick us into believing that we are acting out of choice when we are really acting out of fear. We can be made stronger by our fears they force us to faith because it is the antidote. And when we have enough faith, we realize that the very worst that can happen isn’t anything compared to fearing the worst that can happen.