Last week we got in touch with our fear. We talked about not only the obvious fear, but more importantly the subtle fear that I called, “Mailbox Fear” – the fear that manifests as that “Ut Oh” feeling as you approach the mailbox. When we all looked closely we realized that subtle fear was around us much of the time, lurking in the shadows, creating discomfort and affecting our choices. We realized that if fear is affecting our choices it is also affecting our future. The choices we make today give us our tomorrow. When we choose from Love we manifest a joyful future of our conscious creation. When we choose from fear we are simply moving away from the discomfort it creates and ending up wherever. We became present to the role that fear was playing in our lives.
The first and most important part of learning to live without fear is to be able to recognize when fear is present. It’s important to remember that anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, loneliness, aggravation and so on are code words for fear. Fear underpins all of these. Most don’t see these states as fear based. That’s why dealing with them can be difficult. If you don’t realize that fear is the basis for these states, how can you dissolve them? The first part of learning to live without fear is realizing when fear is present despite all of its disguises.
Another way to detect the presence of fear is noticing when your body when your body is telling you fear is here. You will feel strange and uncomfortable feelings in your body. You won’t like them but they will remain there. You will likely avoid or ignore them. You may even act out in unhealthy ways to momentarily sooth the discomfort that is fear, which only leads you to more discomfort. Your mind may even vehemently deny that these feelings are connected to fear. It will tell you, “I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid of anything!” We don’t want to admit that we are afraid. Our ego tells us its weakness. Actually, it takes a strong and conscious being to see clearly and admit that fear is present. The moment you can see clearly and admit that fear is present in you, you will likely notice that the feelings in your body due to fear begin to wane.
Fear is draining. The presence of fear could result in low energy. You may feel like you are tired too much of the time. This is because fear keeps you in a state of hyper-vigilance. It’s like a soldier at war sleeping with one eye open. There is rest, but not really. If you do not realize that fear is creating this state, you may exist in it indefinitely. If you notice yourself run down, look to see if there is anything creating fear in you. The moment you realize fear is present, and hopefully its source, you will feel yourself begin to relax and your energy come back as the fear fades.
At this point hopefully you are much more clear and able to see when fear is present. You are able to see it in many of its disguises and pull off its mask. The moment that you begin to shine the light of your consciousness on fear it begins to dissolve. Fear feeds on your resistance to fear. The more you resist, the stronger it gets. The less you resist, the weaker it gets. To learn to live without fear you must realize that it’s ok to be afraid! In your human condition, fear will rise in you. Its just the way you are wired. Recognize your fear and don’t resist it. Don’t be afraid of your fear!
Now for the punchline … In order to not be afraid of your fear we must know what fear is. What is fear? Fear is merely a sensation – albeit a very uncomfortable one. It is just a sensation. When you blow on your arm you feel the sensation of the air moving across your arm. Fear is just like that. Sometimes, we know why fear is arising and sometimes we don’t. Regardless, all it is, is a sensation. When you realize that fear is merely a sensation you are free of it. The sensation of fear can be quite uncomfortable but that’s all. Sit with the discomfort and don’t act from it. Like all sensations, it will subside. Don’t give more power to this sensation than it deserves.
Are you this sensation we call fear? Is this sensation you? Or, are you the observer of this sensation? And, If you are the observer of this sensation, how can it harm you? Can it harm you? Let it be there and pay it no mind. It will knock on the door, but it will leave when it realizes there is no one home to come out and play.
Thomas Notarianni Jr.
Founder of The Peaceful Minds Center