Fear is the Beloved
Sometimes we are told fear is the enemy, that fear is holding us back from our most authentic life. And then there are the other camps which tell us to embrace our fears, that each one has a gift waiting just behind its more terrifying faces. Fear is a battleground, fear is a blackhole threatening to pull us into its hypnotic erasing emptiness. Fear is an endless echo rising up from unresolved tensions and desires from our infancy. Fear fear fear. What is our relationship to fear in this modern age, how can we best meet and grow in tandem with the inevitable unknown awaiting us in any adventure, great or small?
What we first must remember is that all fear began as a loving response from our own being, a protective function to ensure we remain alive and safe, an ancestral response to the great fluctuations of life. Fear is love, it is an intimate nurturing reaction meant to aid you in your life. Well, it was meant to be like this, but then all kinds of crazy advancements happened to the human animal, and we became far more complex than any of this innate nurturing could have planned for. And so now maybe a lot of our fear is like the archetype of the smothering mother, the one who will never allow any growth and development into true adulthood.
Change then becomes arrested, crippled, stunted. Any movement towards the unpredictability of the unknown is thwarted, and our lives become dull, repetitive and any true nourishment blanches out of our world. This kind of fear is like a Poe story of someone being brick by bricked sealed off and left for dead. But then how to break out of this cycle, how to embrace healthy levels of fear, how to use your fear as a compass on the beautiful journey of your life?
The first step is consciously recognizing what is truly at the root of any fear, being able to distinguish between the story the fear tells you and the actual reality of the situation, engaging in this dialog as an active participant rather than meekly taking every story as pure fact. Question your own mind, do so lovingly, playfully, lightly. There is no war here, there is nothing to eradicate, there is no reason for a hostile response. After all, any fear at one point was here to love and protect you, but the trouble is the fear fell so much in love with mothering you it forgot you no longer need this. You need a good scout, a trusted ally, someone you can send in for some good reconnaissance. Your fear will gladly transform into this, but only when you demand the shift, and you must prove you mean this demand, it cannot be with only half your heart. You will be triggered and tested, this is ok, remain firm, do the hard work in the beginning so something new and beautiful can open.
When you move into new areas and dimensions of your being fear should arrive, yes, a truly courageous, beautiful, healthy and grounded life should have periods of fear, a moment of temporary uncertainty as you move from the known world you have successfully built into some new aspect just arriving. When we do something we have never attempted, this healthy amount of fear give us the sharpness, the edge and clarity and focus to make sure we succeed. Fear at this level is a wisdom teacher getting you ready for whatever may arise, but it guides you in a grounded and calm manner, you possess the confidence and trust in your abilities and the goodness of the life surrounding you. You can bravely step out into some new dimension of your being because you trust yourself, you know what you are capable of and what you have achieved before, how at other times life asked you to grow and change and evolve and you did so successfully. Yes, it all is a bit scary, but in a nourishing, vivifying way, one that puts you in touch with the very marrow of your being and the whole of all life.
I could not imagine living without this contact, i do not ever want to live a life where I have ceased challenging myself, pushing towards new development, exploring some untested part of my being. This fear does not hold me back, but is ever encouraging me forward, this fear loves life so deeply, so passionately it demands I keep growing. This fear is love, is the highest form of self-compassion and empathy for the world. This fear is my Beloved, it teaches me about strength, beauty, wonder and love. I am forever bowing to the feet of such a wise, warm, kind guide and friend.