9-18-22 Fear


Basically there are two types of fear. One is a natural fear of danger, flight, fight or freeze. The second is psychological fear which is unnatural. You can think of psychological fear as fear with an attitude. Psychological fear is ego-driven.
 As the fear voice in the head gets going, it’s prone to make a story out of an event, develop an attitude and opinion about it, and relive it in countless ways. It will then discolor our perceptions and make us try to manipulate, ignore or run away from our lives, and the truth.

In my addiction, I was afraid of many things. I was afraid my addiction would be found out. I was afraid I would not have enough of my “stuff”. I was afraid of other people, and not sure of how to relate to anyone else in a healthy way. As my addiction progressed, I became more and more fearful and withdrawn. I kept trying to hide and avoid my fears with a substance or behavior that would numb me. Drinking drugging, eating, sex, TV, making money,… endless ways of entertaining and numbing myself to avoid looking at what was causing my unhappiness. If fear is our foundation, it forces us to be afraid and react in negative and harmful ways, and to look for solace in temporary diversions, addictions, entertainments or resentments. 

I was also afraid of dying, and sometimes, I was afraid of not dying. I turned a corner when I experienced a very strong fear of my not having really lived, though I had been given this precious opportunity. Knowing that I was throwing my life away. I knew then that I wanted to live and grow. It would be difficult, but I was willing to try. 

“I seemed to find hope in AA that I could recover from alcoholism. What I really found, through others who went before me and shared their experience with me, was the recognition of the capacity within myself, to honestly face who I am, how the world is, and to choose to live more honestly, more fearlessly, with a kind and gentle heart. This takes effort and resolve. With practice I begin to relax into the flow of life, while still being able to deal with all the ups and downs.” Paraphrase – Big Book of AA 

Emotions are something I am experiencing, they are not who I am. I am experiencing fear, I am not the fear itself. I was afraid, but instead of fighting fear or giving in to it, I face, I embrace it and accept it—I develop loving-kindness as a direct antidote to fear. When I feel a fear arising, I learn to step OUT of the fear and take a look at it with a caring and gentle mind.

I am so used to living with fear that I have to make an effort to be aware when fear is arising, to STOP, to not indulge in it mindlessly, but stop and look at what I am feeling, before I act. If someone else is being manipulative or angry, can you not respond in kind or in fear, but know how important it is to touch into your compassion for them, and act in a way that will express your dignity and control? In a manner that will be beneficial, though difficult at the time.
Without fear, we are able to make hard decisions that may go against the grain of our old behavior of avoidance or enabling. We make decisions based on what is right and true, not enabling our fear to avoid or mask. We always bring compassion and skillful means to bear in any decision.

Most people who start practicing mindfulness meditation realize for the first time  how much of their behavior is motivated by fear. If this happens to you, you may begin to feel discouraged or possibly defensive, or to adamantly assert that your fear is justified and even needed. You are used to fear and you know how to work with it, so these responses are natural. It is as though you are afraid to be without fear! How do you advance fearlessly and without hesitation? Being alert and curious about your fear allows it to become your teacher as well as to serve your growth. This gives purpose to what is otherwise meaningless suffering. 

When something keeps coming up in meditation, that’s a signal that you need to deal with it. You need to process it. You need to process it thoroughly and fearlessly, to feel it and experience it, then let it go, and come back to the moment. John Daido Loori 

Fearlessness is empowered by fear. You can’t develop fearlessness—real compassionate,       generous fearlessness—without fear. Fearlessness is born of fear.

Meditation will help with being more present, not caught up in the past or the future. We sit with our heads swirling around and we have the patience and courage to simply accept our thoughts and continually let go of them. To just be, with whatever is occurring. We mindfully, gently yet firmly, bring our awareness back to our breath. We are practicing choosing, where we are placing our minds. As we are able, perhaps only momentarily, to settle our minds, we may feel the stability, clarity and strength, that is naturally there, not fear. We have been covering up our gentleness and happiness, with our fears and our story lines, that are all about ME. Open up, relax. Kind of like growing up.

There will be times when you are upset, unsure and hurt. You will be able to work WITH these emotions in a better way and have a better outcome, when you care for yourselves and others.

Fear robs me of joy, humor, intelligence, and any lightness in my life. I need to be aware of the negative consequences that fear is having on using my life, and say, NO, I will not permit this. I want to live honestly and with dignity.
Think less, see and feel more. Your intelligence and intuition will be more engaged, and inform you of a  reality beyond your fears. 

You are capable of bring about a fuller and happier life, with all of it’s difficulties and joys. Life awaits. You Are WORTHY. Be as brave as you can, and then keep going, no negativity towards yourself. Believe in yourself and your capacity for love and kindness. Don’t be afraid to care. 

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 things that are honored and cared for
May you be well. May you be happy. May you find peace.
Heart Of Recovery web site  — fcheartofrecovery.com