“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.” – Unknown
I want to move past the fear that our political climate is using to try to manipulate us and control us. I think if we can look to our root fears and work on erasing them, we can limit the power that fear wields over us and that others will use to try to control our thoughts and feelings.
When we think about fear, the very first fears we most likely encountered had to deal with survival. As newborns we were always looking for our mothers. When they weren’t around, we would feel the fear of abandonment well up and we would respond by crying until we were once again in our mothers arms. As we grew other things started to affect us. If there was a lot of angry voices in the house, we could feel the tension, and learn to fear loud noises. Maybe as a young one, we were crawling on the floor when the family dog came over and started licking us or barking at us and this first encounter could cause us to grow up fearing dogs. Over time, we accumulate these events that trigger fear.
I have also heard/read that we may also carry fears from prior lives. Maybe in a prior life we were convicted of being a witch and burned at the steak. In this life, that manifests as a deep fear of fire. Maybe we were a whaler and had been thrown overboard by a rogue wave and now we were fearful of water. Of course, the opposite could be true as we could have had a good experience that we now find we are drawn to for unknown reasons.
Throughout history, the powers that be, whether government or religion, have used fear as a great tool to get people to comply with their vision of how the world should be. It could have been the fire and brimstone preacher who proclaims that if we don’t listen to them and comply with their vision of what God wants, we are doomed to burn for eternity in hell. Governments push the vision that ours is the best country and others that are different are evil and we need to beware of them. They push the idea that theses evil hoards will come in the night and steal our children. Look at the fear that was stirred up in the cold war. Children were indoctrinated into this realm of fear by having them get under their desks in air raid drills. Of course, if the Russians did indeed drop the bomb, that desk was not going to do them a bit of good. Some of the nonsense is so blatant that anyone with any sense should see it, like the Iranian cleric who is blaming women for the earthquakes around the world. Yet, there will be many who will listen to him and want to punish the women into complying with the cleric’s vision of how women should act.
If we want to free ourselves from being manipulated by fear, I believe that first we have to sit down with ourselves and write down all the things that we are fearful of. What scares us. Is there anything that petrifies us to the point that we are unable to function? Is this fear “legitimate” like facing an uncaged lion who hasn’t eaten in four weeks? Or can it be something that many call irrational, like the fear of a bubble or balloon. Yet, in each fear, they have a root cause. Maybe as a baby we were exposed to loud noises and associated them with the popping of balloons. So maybe that fear is not really of the balloon itself, but rather the expectation of it blowing up.
That brings us to one of the things that if we can begin to realize, we might be able to overcome, expectation. How much fear is based on the expectation real or imagined? Do we become paralyzed by these expectations of bad things?
If we want to stop religions and governments from controlling us, we must learn to recognize those fear triggers and find a way to overcome them. The first thing to do is to recognize those things that scare us, whether physical such as a dog or snake, or environmental like loss of job, loved one, or home.
Try creating a journal, if you don’t all ready do it. Over the next month, each day, right down some of the things that caused you fear or discomfort through the day. Don’t stop to analyze them at this time, just jot them all down. Once you are done, read back through them. Ask yourself of each one, when was the first time you felt this? Can you think back through your history to an event that may have triggered this? Write it down. I believe that as we do this, we are recognizing the root cause of our fear and then we might exorcise these demons from ourselves. Of course, if it is true that we carry some from life to life, that could be difficult unless you can do a past life regression to go back through your stored memories of previous lives.
Even if we could eliminate just one fear in doing this exercise, I believe it is a huge step. If we can just overcome one fear in our life, we teach ourselves that all fears can be overcome. That doesn’t mean that overcoming your fear of hungry tigers will allow you to stand there in front of a hungry tiger smacking his lips. I think survival kicks in there, which is a more natural and protective rather than learned fear.
If we can learn to face and overcome our fear, then those who use fear to manipulate and control us will lose their power. We will learn to stop listening to the fear-mongering and use the plethora of tools, the library, the Internet, and even the media to learn for ourselves the truth, or rather our truth. We will no longer single source our news, but rather search out opposing viewpoints so that we can get a balanced view and make our own opinions. Of course, we can remain lazy and just get spoon-fed our opinions and allow fear to continue to be used as a tool to shape our views and control us.
I pray that you can overcome whatever fear has held you back. Sometimes it is that very fear that prevents us from reaching the fulfillment of our human potential. Open your heart, open your mind, and become.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.