In The Quest Of Fear: Understanding And Overcoming Fear.
I remember reading a short story when I was about four years old entitled 'Fearless John'. I was alone, and at that age I could already read and write. For those who are not familiar with the story, 'Fearless John' is a young man who goes on a journey to discover fear. In the version I read, he was just a child slightly older than I was at the time. The ultimate fear he must face is represented by a dragon that he kills by the end. Along the way, he also sees ghosts he bravely chases and a big, scary bear. What I associated most with and had an immediate influence on me, was how calm John appeared to be in the face of fear. Nothing moved him.
Not too far from that day I was going to need all the courage anyone could gather in order to go through what was coming next. John became a symbol, and an equal to me. Being educated by the-hand-that-knew-it-all', as I was; childhood turned into a living hell. There was a moment of intense fear that changed everything, but as it was part of the daily routine, the only way to survive it was to bury it as deep as I could. And so I did. From that moment on, I would not only not fear anything, but I went on looking for it, somehow knowing that fear was just an illusion. As we separate from love, the soul strives to find it again. Fear was still present, but the urge to go through it was much stronger.
Fear is a very difficult emotion to recognise because in the same way that we begin to forget love at such an early stage, we can also bury it as if it had never existed. From that moment on, fear appears in many different forms: worry, doubt, anxiety, panic attacks and a long list of manifestations which prolong the living hell in our lives. But these are merely sub-products of fear. There is, however, a percentage of us who feel this fear throughout their lives and feel it all the time. They tend to be those who are constantly on the run and master the art of masking it. But not so much so. It is a very recognisable characteristic in them.
I am sharing my story, as it illustrates how powerful a child can be in creating their reality and what we choose to call fate. We create our future, as well as calling for the all the experiences we need in order to learn what we want to know. No one else can be blamed for what happens to us throughout life, even if at times we believe that our circumstances depend heavily on the actions of others. There are of course, behaviours and attitudes against children that are inexcusable and one should never be put through them. Although, the point is that we attract these experiences,but we only see it when we take responsibility for our lives and search for our own truth. For as long as we are entertained or distracted by details and what others did, our truth remains silent.
With the burial of fear, the inner child is born. The inner child signs an unilateral contract, in such an imperceptible and unconscious way, that as we grow up and become adults we forget the decision we made. When this contract is signed; the terms and conditions of the world do not matter, and if someone tries to impose them on us, we explode on infantile tantrums regardless of age. When a child writes this contract, both, the child and the contract remain stuck in the period that was agreed upon. We grow up and forget.
The inner child has the answer and he or she wants to see real commitment in the process of transformation before they reveal the secret that has the key to personal freedom and love.
As the world runs on fear and in order to cover up the traumatic moment in which we experienced it for the first time, we learn to fear other things, adapting to the trend of the period. Each era has a particular set of fears on its menu. Superstitious fears such as God, Satan, witches and broken mirrors have become topics to inspire literature and cinema, but are hardly followed or believed by the masses in contemporary society. As humanity has lost faith and belief in religion, the fears we face these days relate to more practical terms such as homelessness, money, job loss, etc. The collective consciousness speaks; we listen and believe anything it says.
With the exception of fear of violence and death, the more superficial society becomes, the more superficial our fears are. Our existential dilemmas are now muddled up with money, status, housing or simply finding romantic love, ignoring the influence that our deepest feelings and emotions have in controlling our lives. As an example, fear of loneliness finds multiple distractions in developed societies.
Everything we fear, we learn from others, remaining with us until we gain the necessary awareness that allows us to challenge it. It is a long journey through the desert filled with doubts, worries and anxieties trying to find our place in the world.
Not been able to feel fear it is very difficult to foresee the consequences of our actions, as it was in my case, taking unnecessary risks that came along with greater repercussions. The constant search for fear, somehow knowing that there is nothing to fear becomes a way of living. One can still feel fear and seek situations in which we experience it first hand. It is a sordid way to become alive seeking shadows. Both, fear and the actions we take, so as to face fear, are completely irrational.
However, this behaviour does not lead to a satisfactory life. Like any other addiction it becomes a distraction. Every fear we learn continues being represented in our lives, money, body image or relationships, to name a few, in which we fail again and again. The thrill is sought as a distraction, but there is more: once the situation is over, there is a period to come down, like with any other drug. It is a time for reflection in which we feel a false sense of peace. It is not the peace that we seek, but one of relief that comes after a time of turmoil, knowing that we got away with it.
In order to overcome fear, we must face each fear we have. Going through the experience is the only way in which we can realise that this is not fear, but only an illusion. Choose your fear and face it. One of the most common fears is public speaking. As children no one has a problem talking in public. At that time we do not have the self-awareness that prevents us from expressing our true selves in a public situation. Prepare a talk, find the audience and give the talk if this is one of your fears. You might shake and be terrified for a while, but as you move through the experience you will see that what was holding you back was you and the thoughts you had anticipating a situation of inadequacy and not being good enough.
The key elements in this process are two: the more we face fear, the easier it gets until it disappears. The other one, and perhaps the most important, is the fact that the situation which served our awareness to learn fear is that this was a situation which had an overwhelming impact on a child. Fears and demons are born and grow from that moment. We are no longer that child and our fear has lost its strength, but we only know this when we face it.
In the journey of return to love, we face one fear after another, as if we were drilling through our being until we find the source of fear, which we have almost certainly forgotten. Courage and love are much stronger sources of energy in a human being, as well as being abundant in all of us.
In order to manifest fear, we have to invoke it, call for it and reproduce it. However, it is not going back to our parents to scream at them so as to show how strong we have become. This is a cathartic experience that must be done with the appropriate people in a safe environment. It is not about getting back at anyone, but to move forward as we separate from the emotion.
As it is a long process, this blog post is intended to create awareness and help you to draw your own conclusions from your personal experience. There are ways in which to recreate fear in order to go through it with assistance, and this is a service I provide, but I believe that everyone can face their own fears and move through them, with intention, courage and determination.
In my experience, I invoked my fear, as I knew that I would find love beyond it. It was an experience that went on for two days. When I felt it and experienced it, it was not what I expected or what I thought it was. It went deeper and back to my childhood. For a minute or two, fear was so powerful that I was paralysed by it, but at that stage I had regressed to a six year old child. Fear is the darkest thing I've ever seen. It is complete blackness.Within two minutes it was gone. Then, there was love, only love.
It was a long and arduous process, but it was worth every penny, every tear and every feeling of pain and suffering. We do it in the name of fear every day, why should we not do it in the pursuit of love?
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Posted by Manel Blanco