How to deal with fear

This is our trap. We need it, we hold on to it. It is voluntary slavery. Why voluntary? Because we do not want to be free and make the effort. It is a lifelong journey of awareness, but the good news is that we do not have to fight for our freedom; we just have to understand the substance of our apprehensions, and take a fresh look at life and ourselves. The reward is – growth, constant evolving, creating your dreams.

Fear is your only obstacle in achieving the freedom you desire to see in your work, social life, love, education. It is ironic that all those areas in life require mistakes, this is “normal life”, we need them, and we need a good variety of them.

The formula is simple – do what you are most afraid of doing. Start with the least effort; do not go for the sky diving first. Seek support. The only way to decrease your fear is by increasing the parameters of your freedom. Do it repeatedly, in a variety of ways, practice makes perfect.

The other very important part of the formula is – you are not a slave for sale. Do not allow anybody to put a price tag on you, even your boss, your community or significant other. You still can play the game, following the rules, but take your soul of the market. Feed your dignity, feel alive. Learn how not to be liked. Sounds scary? In practical life we need to learn how not to be liked, the same way we learn how to be likeable for others. Think about it – there are many people probably you, yourself are not a fan of, but they are living their life happily, learn how to do exactly that. Stretch your imagination, be flexible, play more, role-play with your friends, or be the only actor. Practice your behavior, your brave tone- find your fearless voice, it is somewhere there, waiting to appear on the palette of self-creation. Do not forget to acknowledge the little kid inside of you, let him just have fun and be silly. Realize that we all have this little one, remember that in your communications, and make every interaction a learning experience. Look for the kid in the person facing you, let your own child to be the explorer of the inner and outer world. Something feels risky? Expand the areas of your risks – it means development, it means success.

 

THE ultimate GOAL/CHOICE

We are growing, evolving and realizing the awesome responsibility we have, that leads us to experience this symptoms of tension, unsettledness, and unsatisfaction- often diagnosed as depression, anxiety or similar. What exactly are we feeling?

On a deep level, we are aware that we are mortal and there is no other purpose to our existence but the one we create for ourselves. Is that freedom? How do we respond to this understanding of our responsibility/freedom to make a life worth living without any external standard, which can define for us what this worthwhile living should be?

Some find the guidance in the organized system of a religion.  This is comforting until the moment you face the truth that this system is created by people, and used from different people for different purposes.

More and more people realize that this situation of discomfort is a sign of awareness, rather than a symptom. This uneasiness signals that you begin to process and accept responsibility for your life. Here are some wise words from Mr Frankl “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him”.

Making the choice – what direction you want your life to go, requires increasing self-awareness. Keeping the chosen course asks for established values or discipline. Reaching the destination is possible when you accept that the desired outcome is not a guarantee. So we come to the beginning again – what goal is worth living for, taking the effort and investing your time in, without having the assurance of accomplishing it?

Do we really have a choice? Yes – we do have the choice of happy and fulfilling life. We make it when we understand fear and discover courage. Courage enables us to move toward our actualization, allows us to incorporate/understand fear. If we ignore the tension and try to put fear to sleep, we stop our own growth, impede our potential. So how do we keep blindly and courageously move forward? Faith is our only response to the finiteness nature of life and our awareness of death. Faith, not in any religious sense, but simple trust, knowing that:” This is the way it is. Now I will live my life.”

The alternative? The “modern slavery” – the loss of your individuality, your true identity, your self. In this state, you are influenced by public opinions, by the world outside. You take the values and beliefs of others, becoming absorbed by the every day superficial relationships, your interactions seem ordinary and meaningless. With or without pills the anxiety created by your true self, trying to find the way out and express the true self will produce symptoms, which ignored will lead to a possible disease. At times we want somebody else to heal us or with the help of a special device that will magically take away all our problems. We avoid occasionally looking for our own fault, staying away from seeing our mistakes, which lead us to the illness in the first place. However, you are able to understand and forgive.

There is an ancient saying: If you got sick, change your life style. If this does not help, change the way you eat. If this does not help, then look for a healer and remedies.

It seems like we need a reminder what to do with ourselves. We easily give the responsibility and freedom to make choices for our lives to somebody else. We forget now and then to trust ourselves. The history is full with examples how far human beings can go placing their reliance and life in the hands of one person that has the ambition to lead. It is mesmerizing the size of a crime one man’s ideas can lead to.  Be cautious of leaders that claim to know the secret to life, leaders who tell you they know you better than you know yourself. No one can take your responsibility – to know yourself.

When asked, “What thing about humanity surprises you the most?” Dalai Lama answered:” Man….Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

………..

“I see and hear, how in the silence, every hour “the heavenly bells” ring, and how everything alive is subject to this rhythm…. How do the roosters and all birds know when to sing? How does the flower know when to wake up and blossom? All is subject to this voice. “

Turn of the TV, and you will hear it too…

FEAR – OR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE?

It seems, as fear is a lifelong presence in each of us. We get rid of some of our apprehensions, but then the one that are left, suddenly become more vivid and painful. Why?

The fear itself has been around for eons. It is present even in the simplest one-celled organisms – Amebas.  When the Amoeba feels endangered, the Ameba squeezes out the cytoplasm, shrinks, like in attempt to disappear. The lizard looses its tail; the ostrich hides its head.

Nature’s function to protect and preserve is great. Our nature as Homo sapiens cannot be changed under the technological development; we are still the same inside, as we were million years ago. Even though now the risk of being physically eaten is less, undoubtedly today we have increasing variety list of different dangers. (Including the threat of being scared to death – possibly from all the TV med commercials.)

Animals also experience the symptoms we all are well familiar with: anxiety, panic, fright it is a multilevel spasm. Everything contracts – muscles, vessels, bronchi, diaphragm, stomach, intestines, heart…Sometimes the reaction can be the opposite – involuntary relaxation, paralysis….

The fear is like a virus, parasite that lives with us but is not who we are. Often in western psychology, we get the idea that it is we who are damaged at the core. This can not be farther from the truth. We, human beings, are not and have never been damaged goods. We are fascinating beautiful beings when we know who we are.

So who are we and what is the nature of our relationship with fear?

Fear is a tree with many branches. There are various attempts made to classify and clarify this phenomenon. The trunk of this ancient tree is fear of Death from one side, and fear of Life from the other. The fear of Death is actually a fear of the pure unknown, “nothingness”. It is impossible to imagine your own Nonbeing. This fear is stronger that the dreads of suffering, which can be understood, endured and overcome, but the uncertainty – what do you do with it? The fear of Life is the second wing of the same bird. The fear of Death is a concept that belongs to our consciousness. Nevertheless, our deep unconscious levels, where all our terrors reside, do not have this concept. It is just “before the tension takes form – mass”.

It is not rare for human beings to have one “general” irrespective trepidation, but usually it “specializes” in concrete areas:

–          Mystical and psychic- all religious punishments, fear of God, Devil, superstition, magic…. FEAR OF YOUR OWN THOUGHTS

–          Social-evaluative – exam anxiety, fear of communication, public speaking, the opposite sex, shame, guilt, to be bad, ugly, not smart enough, fear of responsibility/failure, to be seen as weak… NOT GOOD ENOUGH

–          Common fears or phobias- fear of the dark, loneliness, getting old, fear for the life of your loved ones, war, natural disasters…FEAR OF NOT BEING IN CONTROL

–          Panic attacks- objectless sense of apprehension, fear of everything = fear of nothing… I AM HELPLESS

–          Decision making phobias – fear to make a choice of spouse, job, profession….I AM NOT COMPETENT

–          Fear of space – agoraphobia- fear of wide-open spaces, claustrophobia- confined space, astrophobia …. WHERE IS MY PERSONAL SPACE

–          Fear of authority and aggression- physical insult, psychological, from your boss….I AM A VICTIM

–          Dependence fear – soteriophobia, fear of deprivation of different agents –  drugs, tobacco, alcohol, people, food, money….I AM ALONE

–          Physical fears- fear of pain, dentist, blood, diseases, health, germs….I AM IN DANGER

Between all this concrete object fears and the “general” primary fear, we can insert the so-called transition fear – “floating” fear, looking to attach to something. (Similar to the Anger, looking for excuse to explode.) The powerful hovering mass of unattached fear is rooted deep in our unconscious being. The absence of desire to know and study yourself and not understanding the root of the feelings and emotions we all go trough can cause much dysfunction and confusion in our lives.

It is logical than to conclude that Fear is nothing more but absence of consciousness, focused, directed willingness to explore our minds, investigate our soul and discover our limitless potential.

No one is to blame for any dysfunction. Our parents, siblings, guardians, friends, enemies or you – are our hidden teachers that challenge us and make life interesting. In one respect, all this people who caused us problems and pain, are victims of a heritage dysfunction themselves, that goes back to the distant past.

Human experience and folklore tell us that each one of us is responsible for making changes and enlightening ourselves. We can turn our own fears into our strengths. We can support the other person’s efforts at becoming free. In order to be successful we must draw a clear distinction between our dysfunctions/fears and ourselves.