Is it possible for fear to disappear? Let’s find out.
And let me say at the outset, I’m not talking about the fear of meeting a bear or driving through a forest fire. These are natural fears based in physical danger. We can’t and don’t want to get rid of them.
No, I’m taking about the fear of things that are not objectively dangerous, but that we see as threatening. They can seem terrifyingly real, but they are really the product of an overactive imagination.
We’ve experienced this kind of fear our entire lives, and it does feel natural to us. As a child I felt fear of new people. Fear of strange shadows flitting across a wall at night. Fear of making mistakes and being yelled at or ridiculed. Even fear of making a telephone call.
All children have these fears. But we believe when we become adults we will no longer suffer from them.
That somehow, becoming an adult will fill us with confidence and wisdom that nothing can shake.
But for most of us, we just find ourselves fretting over a new batch of fears. We understand why shadows flit across a wall at night and no longer fear them. But now we suffer over the shadows of not having enough of what we need, or losing people we love, or getting old and no longer able to take care of ourselves. And some of the old fears are still there too, like being afraid of meeting new people. So the reasons to be afraid continue to pile up.
Is there nothing that can relieve us of this persistent pain so we can go forward in life instead of being held back by fear?
To find an answer, I turned to the Living Book on the OneJourney site and found this intriguing quotation by a female Sufi Mystic from the 8th century:
I was born when all I once feared, I could love. — Rabia of Basra (713 – 801)
At first look this statement may seem odd. How can we love what we fear? And how does this lead to our being born? A deeper exploration reveals the true beauty of what Rabia is saying.
First, remember that we are talking about fears that arise from the imagination. We perceive things as threats because of past experiences, or things our parents told us, or fears others express. We are not objectively in danger, but our minds tell us we are, and so we resist – push away – these moments we don’t want. And the more we do, the stronger our resistance grows, and the more our fear grows and limits us. It is the opposite of being born. We are being more and more shut down.
The opposite of resistance is acceptance. Instead of automatically pushing events or people away because my mind tells me to fear them, self-observation shows me my fear originates within the ideas and expectations I bring to the moment. As I become more aware of my own mistaken ideas, and more open to seeing people and events as they are, I become more open to life. My love of life grows, and as it does I become grateful for the very things I feared, but that I now realize showed me where I was hurting myself, and thereby gave me the opportunity to become more free. I love what I feared, I have grown more free, and that is a kind of rebirth.
The bottom line is, self-discovery is the path to ending psychological fear and being born into a new level of consciousness where we know nothing can hurt who we really are, and love becomes the essence of our being.
If you would like to understand fear better so you can begin to rise above it, please join OneJourney founder Guy Finley for his ongoing livestreamed talks.
Learn How to Gain Freedom From Fear in Free Livestreamed Talks Every Wednesday Evening and Sunday Morning
Join us via GoToWebinar every Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM Pacific Time, and every Sunday morning at 9:30 AM Pacific. You are invited to join us for these free live talks plus extended Q&A sessions with Guy. If you register here you will be emailed the view link right before each talk:
Guy tells us: “Anxiously seeking to find some way to protect ourselves from the fear of something that ‘may be coming our way’ is to punish ourselves in the present moment in the hope of avoiding it later!”
He always gives practical advice on how to gain the power to make any scary thought or feeling disappear, how to realize “real time” authority over any negative reaction, and how to awaken the fearless self that lies sleeping within you.
I look forward to seeing you online!
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project
PS: Preregister for the free livestreamed talk now, while you’re thinking of it: www.guyfinley.org/freeclass
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