Making friends with fear
I’m making it a habit to stop accepting fear. Fear in myself, of myself, of others, of life.
Ironically, I’m learning the only way to effectively do that is to accept it fully. To just let every feeling of fear, confusion and pain come up and out like it was my best friend and I’m holding that space for it. Sometimes it’s hard to stand. But through this process, I can let the fear go, and feel at peace.
I was listening to the song “Another Day” from “RENT: The Musical” and while it may sound cheesy, the lyrics capture a lot. We constantly think ahead or behind. If not, there would be nothing to fear. Which made me think…
Why am I fearing when all I have, all any of us have is right now?
Truly. There can be millions of dollars in your bank account and the market can crash tomorrow. Or a lover or friend of years and years may suddenly pass. What will any of our time, money and energy mean unless we spend each moment, as best as we can, relinquishing that fear and living in even greater dimensions? Feeling larger, bigger, happier and yearning always to relieve the rumbling aches deep inside us? The wells of negative emotion — residue from past anger at an ex, or our parents, or God or whomever — willing instead to acknowledge and let those feelings go so we can move up and over the pain and into the beauty of now?
I think that’s what we humans came here for all along — to feel this good and to be this free. But I would have never really believed this thinking just a year ago.
Last year at exactly this time, I started listening to Abraham Hicks. Abraham Hicks is described as “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension.” You can catch their sessions on YouTube. I was going through a really rough patch — I had just split with an “adoptive” family after leaving my own family at age 18. It was rough and I was accepting myself as the culprit of everything wrong or bad.
But Abraham wouldn’t let me stay in that place. One fundamental principle Abraham repeats over and over again is to Feel Good. No matter our external circumstances, we can always choose to feel good. We can. We have that power. Even in the most dire situations. Remember Viktor Frankl, for example, the Holocaust survivor. His book, “Mankind’s Search for Meaning,” has some gems that really blow the face off of typical fears, such as:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
In the direct face of physical starvation and persecution, Frankl discovered this attitude to set him free. In that, I can only assume he became larger than his body and connected with the part of him (the part of all of us) that is much bigger than the physical anyway. The part that means something. The soul, the Higher Self, the infinite — whatever you like to call it. That vast expanse of connection to every living thing that colors in above, below and through our existence. It’s often forgotten in times of pain, hunger, longing or need — when fear takes precedence. Yet in spite of the fear, this bigger part of who we are carries us through the good and the “bad” times alike. It is always doing good and helping us and helping others, even if we can’t see we are doing a service in the moment.
Listening to Abraham more and more, I began to realize that the only thing holding me apart from feeling good — is choosing to hold onto negative feelings. Telling myself stories that make me mistrust people and situations. Feeling separate and angry and alone. Feeling like I needed to be “right.” Drawing evidence of mistakes, when really there are never any.
The negative feelings stay, until I let them come up and out and rear their little dandelion heads, then get pooped and shrivel back into the ground. That is perhaps the scariest part in this whole letting go of fear process (ha, paradoxically): allowing myself to experience the fear fully, to bear it, to feel it and then release it. I mean, why do people go sky diving who are terrified of heights, right?
The more I allow myself to feel fear in its fullest intensity while reminding myself this too shall pass, I can celebrate rather than cower. Each day becomes a world of its own wonder and discovery. And I really like what I’m finding.