There are so many definitions of the word fear. None however, is as real as our interpretations of what we deem fearful. Like pain, we all have different thresholds for fear. For some, killing a snake is as easy as breathing, while others may die first before they touch one harmless cockroach. Many of us raised on this side of the Atlantic, appreciate fear for the paralysing terror it brings. We were in many ways raised in fear. Our parents, government, traditional rulers, authority figures and even our God are larger than life, so we ‘respect’ them for fear of incurring their wrath.
Now that I have successfully painted the origins of our fearful nature, I would like to make a defining statement, culled from one of my favourite authors.
“Life is difficult. This is great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.” M. Scott Peck, M.D.
As you seek to digest that assertion, permit me to engage your unconscious mind for a minute or two.
Recall a time, when you were unafraid of anything. When you saw this world as the adventure that it is. You may wish to close your eyes for a minute and travel to a time of peace, love and hope. For some it is the many glorious years before kindergarten or primary school. Others might have preserved their innocence until age 6. My unconscious mind tells me, I truly believed this world to be a loving place until my 10th birthday. I remember, my first major fear experience and how it was reinforced over and over until I started to question the peace I felt in this world.
As you bring your mind back to the present, allow yourself feel deeply as you read this.
Another important part of our being that our fearful programming rubs us of is true feelings. We were taught how to respond to events. How to lie that our parents are away, when they were upstairs. How to say we want to eat at our neighbours, only to be warned off the meals by our mums unforgiving eyes. The men amongst us, know what happened when they cried as boys. They were told it was an abnormal behaviour. So they took all those emotions and locked them in the Pandora box, deep inside the unconscious mind, where no one can reach it, including their desperate hearts. Young women remember, how important marriage was from the day they were born. Jokes flew as to whose son the pretty baby girl would marry. Subtly the parental conditioning of the mind starts. The endless talks about marriage, slips safely into her unconscious mind until being a wife or a mummy becomes her only dream.
“Someone might be thinking, what has my upbringing got to do with my present fears? My parents did what they thought was best for me, so why question anything? Isn’t it too harsh to judge my parents?”
I hear your questions and I have travelled that road too. The purpose of unlearning fear is to fully become that which you were created to be. Until, we realise who we are, we remain in a trance state unable to fully live the lives we choose for ourselves. We are at best puppets in another person’s virtual reality show.
In my experience, facing my fears as I reconcile separated parts of myself, allows me truly love the lady in the mirror and all those who love me, including those who unconsciously sold fear to me as a twisted kind of love.
In the opening of this piece, I did mention how we fear authority figures including the God we serve.
‘Many may be quick to say we should fear God truly. I mean isn’t He the guy who would send His own children to hell fire for missing the mark or better put committing sin? Shouldn’t we fear such a Being?’
I will allow your unconscious mind answer that question when you are ready. Today, I want our focus to be on fear, the illusion and how we can unlearn it. I would need your permission throughout, to release those fearful thoughts so that you can be free to live the life of your imagination.
The first steps to unlearning fear is to ask the questions you would rather not ask. For me, it started with questioning my Christian beliefs. For some other human being a good start might be to gain deeper understanding as to why you are so angry all the time? “If everything is okay like we claim, why are you so afraid of the dark or love?” Our questions are the answers. It is fear that makes people say if you seek knowledge you will become evil.
“What is man if he does not know himself?”
Since my mastery of life, stems from the continuous need to pay attention to my being, I know firsthand that denial is a path to nowhere. What we resist, like they say persists.
As I became more conscious of my otherwise fearful existence, amidst the do it afraid positivity movement, I knew the time had come to grow. The one question I have asked that has helped me greatly is:
“What am I most afraid of?”
As I allow my unconscious mind provide the data, I am able to match it with how I show up in the world. Acknowledging this fear as opposed to lying to myself, allows me morph into the awareness before the fear, rather than the fear itself.
There is so much to say or write about fear. Today I want us to stay in the realms of our unconscious mind. The 90% that keeps all the relevant data rather than the small 10% that might resist this message. I would like you to create an Unlearning Fear Journal today. Sit down with the first fearful question that comes to your mind, write it down, allow your unconscious mind travel to the origin of that fear. Try not to judge the process or the human actors. Write down any important information that pops up.
If you are truly willing to go on this journey with me, reach out, let’s poke fun at our fears. When I started journalling my fears and the attendant negative self talks, some made me laugh out loud. They were too ridiculous, yet I believed them, until I realised that the core of my being is great love not paralysing fear.
May our collective lights be the force that drives out darkness.