11-19-17 fear

Fear

An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. To be afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about what you think is a possible or probable situation or event. Anger, worry, anxiety, regret, blame.

Fear itself is not necessarily a bad thing; healthy, balanced fear can be very useful. It can serve as an alarm, a call for action, as in “Take your hand off the hot stove!” Unfortunately, most struggles with fear are of the irrational, repetitive, imagined variety.

Some individuals so habitually view the world from their various fears that they are referred to as living a fear-based life. If you are such a person or know such a person, you understand what this means. There is very little mental rest for such a person, because life seldom seems safe, not even temporarily. You continually mistrust your judgment or question the reliability of others’, or both. You may often see life through the lens of fear, but it is only a mental state that is coloring your perception; you are not that fear.

This is a critical understanding. If you jump into a cold lake and your body gets cold, you don’t suddenly think you are a cold lake; you are simply cold as a response to the environment. Fear is the same, only a response. Choose to step out of the lake and into the sun.

It is as though you are afraid to be without fear! Fear is something you may have lived with for a long time. You have been taught by others you are not good enough. You have believed society’s dictates that ‘you have to have this, or be that way,’ in order to be successful and fit in properly. You will always feel afraid because you are trying to succeed at some false sense of self. You keep defending and promoting who you THINK you should be, not feeling and knowing at who you ARE.

When you are going somewhere you may be unconsciously and habitually forming anxieties. The car will be cold, the traffic will be bad, too many red lights. There will be too many–or not enough–people there, they won’t act like I want them to. These are very well worn paths we follow easily, but they keep us in constant anxiety and fear. They have never worked for us, but we don’t know what else to do.
Now we do. Breathe into the anxiety, give it space and kindness, and open your heart and mind. Open your heart and mind. Ask yourself, often, are my mind and heart open, or tight and closed?

In my addiction, I was afraid of almost everything. Very much afraid of not getting my drug or not being able to behave in a way that would make me feel better for a little bit. Afraid of what you thought of me, of losing something I had or not getting something I wanted. And I always suffered in the long run. And when I suffered, I made more of an effort to get my “fix’ again. Around and around I went. I had to step out of that mentality and let that grasping go.

Meditating on Fear: Because it is unpleasant, there’s a tendency to distract the mind or to simply give up on meditation. It’s been my experience that if you can stay with the uncomfortable sensation, it will eventually unwind itself in both its physical and mental aspects. You can see what is true for you by mindfully working with some of your smaller, more approachable fears and then seeing what happens. Feel, and say to yourself, “I am enough, I am good, I am very good.” Let that ride your breath. Not-knowing, curiosity, and a sense of humor…let these be your foundation, NOT FEAR.

“Loving-kindness practice is the classic antidote for fear. If you see through the lens of love, you are not afraid of what is out there in the same way, even though it remains; you do not see it as a problem. I specifically suggest doing the following loving-kindness meditation to work with fear: “May I find freedom from fear in my life. May I help others find freedom from fear in their lives. And may I meet the fear in our culture with the courage of the open heart.” –Phillip Moffitt

You cannot love and fear at the same time. Choose love.

Are you afraid you will not blend in? Blend in with WHAT? Are you afraid that you are not invisible? Are you afraid others will see you and judge you? Don’t worry; they’re so hung up on their own fears of others’ judgment they don’t even notice you. And any judgement from them is just an extension of their own fear about themselves anyway.

Or, are you afraid of not being noticed? Noticed as WHAT? Of not being defined by how you think others need to see and define you?

What if you refuse to be defined? To be in openness, intuition and kindness does not define you; these aspects of yourself are innate, wholesome and real. Let your fear inform you as to the very uselessness of your fear, and step through it into who you ARE. Practice openness, love and kindness for yourself. Fearlessness is born of fear; but it metamorphoses when we feed it kindness and give it space.

Mindfulness is a state of “observation.” If your mind is plagued with fear, mindfulness meditation allows you to detach and observe the thoughts, analyze them, let them go, become your own teacher. Simply observe it. – Paraphrase – Thich Nhat Hanh

Moreover, if you avoid something that scares you, you tend to experience a sense of failure. Every time you avoid a feared object or situation, your anxiety gains strength while you lose some. Exposure entails facing your fears, which makes it aversive in the short-term. But many worthy long-term goals entail short-term discomfort (think studying for an exam, [or detoxing]). Fear, if you face it, will soon begin to subside as you habituate, get used to it. Exposure works better than avoidance. –Psychology Today

I know I often dismiss my feelings of fear automatically, without being aware of doing it or what my motivation is. I am so used to blaming or hiding that I need to be very aware of what I am feeling and doing. Mindfulness, awareness in everyday life!!! I will absolutely make mistakes in growing out of fear, and into a braver, more open awareness. This is new ground that is unfamiliar, and I will stumble some, but I will continue and grow if I have the courage and knowledge that this is the right path. At first, I need to almost force myself to be kind, to myself and others. My fears have been running the show without my approval, or even my knowledge, of what was going on. I can use fear to inform me that I am dwelling in the wrong place.

Our tendency is to make ourselves the victim, which means there is nothing we can do.

“I TRIED!” If you can truly say this, whether you succeeded or not is of no importance. That you tried is important. It is all that counts. Keep trying.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story…” [The Truth.] ~Cheryl Strayed

 

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small fears that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site: fcheartofrecovery.com