We must understand our fears if we really want to move on because that understanding is the prerequisite to self-knowledge, which alone is the only requirement for a harmonious relationship – with ourselves. Whilst I am prompted to write these words I am reminded of their significance, not only to me but to those who read them – to most of us whose constant fear prevents us from living our true purpose. Such acknowledgement stirs discomfort within us as we try to deny its truth, but we must learn that fear is the basis of all man’s problems.
The word fear is strong language representing an equally strong emotion. The word conjures up quite different scenarios for us all, ranging from the trembling knees and thumping heart when we fly in an aircraft to the sight of a spider in our bedroom. But I’m not speaking about the short-lived experiences of such strong emotions which are all part of our fright, flight mechanism. I’m referring to the long-term fear that dwells in us and around us for much of our lives until we confront it and dissolve it. Unfortunately, more often than not, we are unaware that we literally live in fear.
Examining the Nature of Fear
The nature of fear was something that I hadn’t really examined, for fear of displacing my own comfort zone. The word itself is so suggestive of failure or perhaps even cowardliness, that it’s not surprising we are hesitant to admit to its stronghold. And of course – it is a hold that we are referring to here.
The re-emergence of my own state of worrying after the death of my husband prompted the drive to an enquiry that has been ongoing ever since. Fear may never disappear completely from our minds but when we allow our hearts to reach out to it, we discover from whence it came – not of our spirit but of our mind.
In case you are tempted to pass by the next pages in the belief that fear has kindly passed you by – please stay a little longer; you may be grateful to have had the opportunity! If we take time to examine our own lives we will not only see how fear dominates it but how it influences our interactions and relationships with everybody around us. It becomes the foundation of our opinions and judgments, having both near and far-reaching consequences.
As parents, we constantly fear that our children will not achieve at school, thus preventing them from getting a ‘good job’. Our anxiety is transferred to our children. So now they too know how to fear! Even if they are doing well at school, or not even attending school yet, we can fear the latest strain of influenza every time they sneeze or get a cold. What if they contract meningitis or succumb to some other terrible fate?
Fear: An Equal Opportunity Employer
It’s not necessary for us to have children to enable us to worry; we know that people are being made redundant in our place of work. The fear that we will be next becomes so overwhelming as to sometimes destroy our lives – by which time we have reached retirement and escaped redundancy anyway. We sit on the train to go to work but the train is delayed.
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Already fearing we could be late, we read our newspaper; the banks are failing; our investments are depreciating; another young schoolboy stabbed; and just look what’s happening in America... China... France! We get off the train and head for work, still anxious that we’ll be late.
When we get to work we have meetings to go to and deadlines to meet. Most of us accept this kind of stress as being part of our working life but actually, stress is composed of fear, not work demands. When we enter the workplace the all-engaging fears we had are exchanged for other fears and by the time we arrive home, we are thankfully just in time to get an up to the minute update from the BBC newsreader!
How To Rid Yourself of Fear and Worry
My work as counsellor and healer has shown me over the years how many of us are acceptant of the role of fear in our lives. Sadly, it usually takes more than our acceptance to turn things around. I hear so many times how much a person wants to change things and have a more rewarding and fruitful life, but that desire alone remains an empty and unfulfilled wish until we take the first steps to releasing the chains that bind us. All the while we allow doubts to deter us, we are kept in the stronghold of that which feeds those doubts – our minds.
When someone asks me how they can rid themselves of fear and worry, I can only offer the same words that were given to me – Let Go. Our minds are so consumed with wanting to control, not just ourselves but everything and everybody around us, that we mistakenly believe we are our thoughts and our minds.
Our need to control is initiated by our addictive and compulsive fear that arises whenever things are not acting out as we think they should or would like them to be. So fear only arises when we can’t control something that we would prefer to.
We have no control over the world economy and its effects on our purse. We have no control over our children’s exam results or if they choose to take a different path to the one we were sculpting for them. We have no control if we don’t come home tonight and end up in hospital instead. We have no control if we get cancer. We have no control when and how we will die.
We can take adequate precautions to safeguard ourselves and our families; we can pass our wisdom on to our young people in the hopes that they may use it, but beyond that – we must Let Go, because when we do, we also let go of our suffering that emerges from our constant need to be in control and its precursor – fear.
Fear: More Infectious Than The Common Cold
Our fear doesn’t just stay with us – it has far-reaching consequences. It is not part of our divine self, but it is a very powerful energy which readily infests all those who unsuspectingly invite its negativity. We have all experienced the power of negative energy, not only in the way it affects us personally but in its ability to permeate through families, workplaces, communities and countries. One single fear-driven mind within a family or community has the potential to be more infectious than the common cold, but unlike the common cold – we are completely in control of our own immunity against it.
We must first remind ourselves that the news we hear on the television or read in the paper; the gathering of the ‘professional discontents’ that try to suck us in at work; the worry we feel when we can’t pay the bills – are all energies of fear. As soon as you take any one of them on board, you will automatically attract more – and more – and more. We even seek out people who are as addicted to negative thinking as ourselves, the effect being one of ‘support’ – or so we think.
Transmuting the Energy of Fear to Something Positive
Although most of us wouldn’t agree (until we have practised), it’s easy to resist the giant vacuum of negative fear by transmuting its energy to something completely positive. If you don’t believe me, try it now. Don’t be frightened of the strength it exerts on you, just embrace it. Get to know it and above all – love it – with all your heart.
Fear is just the rampant, unorganized energy of your own mind – your thoughts. When we have a spoilt, unruly child, we need to change his behaviour by retraining him and showing him how to utilize his energies more fruitfully, whilst at the same time lovingly reminding him that although a very special part of the family – he is not in control of the family.
Our love overwhelms the child and his need to dominate his environment in order to be noticed, and he begins to understand his own role within the family unit. Now that he knows he is not responsible for his family a great burden is lifted from him and he can just relax, knowing exactly what is required of him. When we retrain our own mind and free it from its self-appointed responsibilities and fight for dominance, its creativity emerges from its beautiful, harmonious accord with our own divine essence.
The Creative Power of Fear's Polar Opposite
The world has entered an era of great change on all levels. There are few of us who are, or will be, unaffected by these changes in some way or another. Every part of the planet seems to be in upheaval with profound environmental extremes affecting those on many continents. All this occurs at a time of world economic crisis, which alone has caused chaos and hardship to millions, and then we hear of revolts and uprisings spreading across the Middle East, stirring pangs of unease for those of us watching from the comfort of our armchair.
Before we judge a person, culture or religion from the narrow perspective of our protective bubble, we must be brave. Brave enough to step out and face our fears, embrace our ‘enemies’ and discover in the process – not the destructive power of fear but the creative power of its polar opposite – Love.
©2013 Susan Sosbe All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author. Published by O Books,
an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd. www.o-books.com
Reflections - Beyond Thought: The Journey of a Lifetime
by Susan Sosbe.
Reflections – Beyond Thought is a moving, often amusing, account of the author's personal journey. Struck by life-changing illness, she fights all that challenges her until forced to surrender and, in that moment, to hear answers to her lifelong quest as she learns not only the nature of her own suffering, but that of all mankind.
About the Author
Susan Sosbe is a spiritual healer, counselor and a trained nurse and teacher. She teaches meditation and facilitates self-inquiry. Through her healing clinics, talks and as guest speaker to other spiritual groups, Susan has inspired many in England and abroad to realize their own potential and discover their own path. Her commitment to the humble role as messenger of hope and peace continues. Visit her website at www.reflectionsbeyondthought.com