April 15, 2020
Fear presents tremendous resistance to the capacity to feel freedom, to think differently from all the noise in the world, to experience levity or light, to have the courage to stand in the state of not knowing, to have the strength to embrace change on a global scale, to ask the question, “What truly matters?” Fear also can weaken our immune system and certainly have an impact on our quality of life.
There is no need to feel ashamed if you experience moments of fear. We are all in the human condition, and we are currently caught in a worldwide web of fear mongering. We can hardly help but resonate with our fellow human beings in that we are all connected to one another. It is worthwhile, however, and even essential that we take ourselves up and stand in the face of whatever it is that we fear. Otherwise, there could be a rough road ahead. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned when I was in my mid-thirties was to stand up to a dark and ominous energy that was overpowering my ability to function in the world and to state out loud, “I am no longer afraid of you. If you intend to continue to be around me, you will have to choose to become a part of my chosen path in life.” This invitation changed my life. And while I will not say I have never experienced fear since then, I will say that learning to take charge of it, rather than trying to hide from it, makes all the difference.
So let’s consider a few antidotes to fear (you likely can think of several more):
- Recognizing it for what it is. Sometimes we may simply feel beside ourselves or more easily emotional or unable to think clearly or trembling inside. All these can be messages from our own spirit to let us know we are dancing with fear.
- Once you recognize it, you can do something about it. And for that you can be grateful. You can also be grateful for the strength you are about to develop by overcoming your fear.
- When you begin to feel fear, there are some practical things you can do.
- Deep breathing is always a good one.
- Get a drink of water and drink it slowly.
- Go outside for a moment and look at the sky.
- When I experienced what I described above, my friend and counselor told me to put on an extra layer, like a sweater, since fear is often connected to forces that have a chilling effect on us.
- Move your body. Dance. Exercise. Walk. Rough and tumble play with children or your partner.
- Speak directly to your fear and take charge.
- If you are able, find someone or something that makes you laugh. Dark energy detests humor, and will typically leave rather than bear it.
- Give consideration to what you are watching, listening to, reading and generally inviting into your daily consciousness. Is it furthering you or diminishing you? Even when we are basically grounded and living in trust, we can fall prey to the fear or anger promulgated via the news and social media. If you feel compelled to check in, my warm suggestion is to get in and then get out as quickly as possible. Lingering in the muck and mire is another avenue toward illness.
- Find a verse, poem, prayer or other content that opens you up again and dispels the fear. Memorize it or have it readily at hand whenever you need it.
- Practice daily prayer or meditation.
- Accept that darkness and light are part of life, just as are living and dying.
- Understand that your spirit is not intended to stay embodied forever, and the transition out of your physical body at some point is just as normal and amazing as the transition of entering into your body when you were born! Perhaps you can consider the possibility that you have other non-physical existence awaiting you when you lift out of your physical self. When we lose our fear of dying so many other fears simply dissipate. Most of us are not going to die until it is our time to die, so fully live while you are alive. This made a big difference for my husband and me when we became very ill at the beginning of March when the world began to quickly implode. In bed with fevers, coughs and general discomfort, it was a gift to not add the fear of death to the mix!
- Recognize that our world culture has become so obsessed with never having pain, never being ill, never ageing in our bodies, and avoiding death at all costs, that we are willing to go to the extremes of seeing a fellow human being as a threat, of separating elders from being able to see their families, of not allowing a loved one to be with their dying partner. Let us fear a breach in our humanity rather than all of the above! Then, rather than fearing it, do something about it.
- As we awaken, each in our own way, to what truly matters may we be blessed with a deep in-breath that will open us to ourselves and to others and restore our balance.