ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Overcome Any Fears… *Alone

Do these scare you?

That it’d be of sharks, alligators or spiders, even of the dark or of your feet; everyone on this planet has fears … or has had fears!

Photographed by Margaux Delvaux
Photograph — Margaux Delvaux

I used to scream, shout and get in a crazy frenetic state whenever I would spot a spider, or even worse when it would get close to me. But one day I got tired of being afraid so often, so easily.

A few weeks ago, a little spider went down from the ceiling, slowly descending its web like an acrobat and just right onto the sheets of my bed. My first reaction was to try to prevent it from moving, which I did by putting a part of the covers on it, whilst going to grab a paper tissue to catch or maybe… kill it. I’m sorry!? Sometimes I just can’t cope differently.

Unfortunately when I came back,

I couldn’t find it. I can tell you I got tremendously frustrated. I started talking out loud saying things that feel cringy to the ears: ‘Why today!? Why me!?’

But then I found myself doing something that no one who knew me, could have ever thought I could ever do. Even I wouldn’t have imagined that I would ever do that: I gave up. I got into the covers and slept. And peacefully.

It didn’t take me just this single day though, to be able to be exactly where I’m at, right now

Mental steps to overcome any phobia:

‘Overcoming your phobias will build you to be a warrior.’

  1. Understand where your fear comes from. Is it a negative past experience you’ve had? Then revisit the moment, and see what you would do now, how you would react. How, maybe, the way you reacted seems excessive or irrational to you now. This will transform phobia into fear. Also visualize how you would want the situation to have gone by, WITHOUT taking the object of your fear away from the memory. You’ll see that, step by step, you’ll find solutions so as to make the memory less uncomfortable. If it doesn’t come from a past memory, you still have imagined dreadful situations in your head, that you wouldn’t want to take place. Follow the same pattern with this visualization.
  2. Congratulate yourself for your improvements, no matter how small they are. Tell your family or friends about it, they may smile a little, but doing this will help you experience and feel that your achievements are real and they’re awesome! You will FEEL like you’re reaching your goal. And it’s all that matters.
  3. Then you will probably be met with another encounter with this fear. Sorry to predict such an unpleasant situation… Then just take an instant to breathe and recenter your thoughts on what it is you want: get rid of that fear, EXACTLY so as to get rid of the kind of situation you are presently undergoing. Here the work you’ve started to put in, will gradually begin to show.

Repeat those 3 simple steps, whenever you’re faced with you know what… that it’d be played out in your head or actually in front of you.

To give you an example: I remembered that when I was a child I was actually the one looking for spiders in my garden and grabbing them. When I started this process though, I didn’t want to get back to that state; too repulsive! And in fact I even found out that I was AFRAID of stopping to be afraid, because it would mean that I would let these creepy beings get close to me. Insane right!? As if I had a fear on top of another fear.

We humans know how to create blockages for ourselves, haha: The fear of stopping the fear! Who could have thought of inventing such a tricky thing!
Anyways, it all stemmed from me holding a spider in my hand at a very young age; and the look on my older sisters’ faces and the step back they took. And now it’s gone, thanks to the “3 steps” process I’ve broken down for you above, that I have implemented.

Alright, so being that the steps are general, I wanted to give you some tips, most of which I have personally followed to overcome some basic fears:

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychologist and have no professional certificate in this area of expertise. The pieces of advice provided in this article are not a substitute for qualified medical or health related services and should not replace your own judgement.

  • If it is of a living being:

Observe it, but not through your own eyes: get somebody else to show you their vision of the being, their perspective of it. I can tell you you will be amazed. Watching just 1 documentary on the subject might help you tremendously. As fear often comes from the unkown: Understand the living being: why it moves in a certain way, what its behaviour announces: a danger to you or the contrary? You will find that it is just like you, and sometimes just as afraid of you as you are of it. The most important thing on that one, is to really recenter your thoughts, when the encounter happens.

  • If it is of the dark:

You can first do this with somebody else you trust and who does not fear the dark: during the day, go in a room you feel safe and secure in, which is not equipped with windows, or else have some for which you can put the shutters down with not much trouble. Put yourselves in the dark for some time, talk in the dark, move in the dark, until you feel relaxed. Doing this during the day will help you feel like there is a safety net surrounding you just in case. And as you will come from a place of activity, your body and thus your mind will feel stronger than when you feel tired at night before sleeping. You have probably noticed that when you’re afraid, you tend to freeze. That’s why moving around, touching things you recognize, being aware that the room is just exactly the same whether the light shines or not, will help counteract this lethargic state. When you’ll be able to talk and your voice is clear, then you’ve made it!

  • If it is of not having enough/losing time:

If you have this fear, maybe you have a tendency to fidget all the time, or drown yourself into work, or activities so as not to see time passing. You may also be someone who always tries to do their best; a perfectionist, a big dreamer… Whoever you recognize yourself to be. If you’re in that mindset, it’s okay. Just try to tell you that it is excatly by thinking that way; that you’re losing time, or rather ‘losing’ moments you could cherish. Because actually we can’t lose any time, time is here, forever and always, that you are here or not. You are not GIVEN time; you were born into time. You are experiencing time. You have nothing to lose but beautiful or non so beautiful instants for not being in the mindset for fun and tranquility.

  • If it is of not succeeding:

Not believing in ourselves. Not enough…
We are deserving of more trust. From ourselves.
We literally have no reason not to trust ourselves; we can all do anything we wish to. But whenever in doubt, think: What if I had all my life to learn that? I could do it! Which means that I CAN do it. And now it’s just a matter of time. The strongest you believe you can make it, the faster you’ll get there.
You can use my mantra if you wish; it feels so good to know “The outcome is always good when you Try.”

The idea is to extract yourself from your situation. Think about something else. Something absolutely different, such as how one person is living on an other side of the world. What clothes they where. How they walk. What they do. What are the moves they repeat every single day. Dive into that and then come back.
If I tell you that I thought of a number; what number did I start with? knowing that I multiplied it by 5, added 4 to the result, then divided it by 10. And moved the point (.) 3 times to the left. And that now it equals 0.00065.
“Oh no! yuk! I’m not even going to think about it!” Or maybe you’ll try and struggle. And eventually come to see that what you perceived as a complicated problem is actually plainly simple to solve: You just have to start from the end.
(Start from 0.00065 and move the point 3 times to the right: you obtain 0.65. Multiply it by 10, reduce it by 4, and divide it by 5. You’ll find my number: 0.5)

What I have been meaning to say here is that we only need to change perspective, and sometimes only BELIEVE that we can do it.
My mother is a maths teacher, I’ve always been surprised to see that when she told the kids “2X+4=10. Find the X” , some would not know how to solve the problem. But then she replaced the X by a question mark, and everybody seemed to perceive the problem as super simple.

You may not fear failure in itself — meaning that it would be okay for you if you did fail— but you may fear that you can’t ever reach your goal. You feel like it doesn’t matter how much you will try, you won’t ever get there. While sometimes you havn’t even tried yet. You could be called lazy by people while you actually just fear to see that the happiness you dream about doesn’t exist… Which is crazy because it really boils down to the notion of desire: Do you lose the desire… when you actually get to experience it? Does it fade away, just like sand between your fingers? Because this is exactly how you feel: You see your dream, you dream of your dream, but you’re afraid that, just like sand; when you’ll catch it, it will slide away. Hence when your dream is very much significant, sometimes it could be your reason to live that you dread would disappear. For my part, I strongly consider that dreams are worth chasing since if it is what you are meant to do or be; it will never fade away. Though it will change and evolve, since once you get there you can’t quite keep repeating the same actions over and over again. And if it does fade, it will only mean that you have got something else to discover about yourself. Both ways, there will be change. Both ways, you may feel like the sand is gliding through your fingers.

But that is the thing that we all seem to forget: sand is bound to slip through.

We erect our dreams in the most perfect way, as if we didn’t expect things to change. While we should remember that ‘Change is the only constant there is’. (Quote by Mary Jane Maxwell, who inspired this article)

If you’re a music drunky, here is the link to Anthem Lights’ song which I think is amazing, to feel what you’re here for, to reignite the flame if you forgot that you dream of it. So much. Too much to let it go.

  • If it is of life or connecting with someone:

You’re very likely wondering why I linked both of those fears together and even what I could really mean by fearing life.

First of all, fearing life is to me, to be afraid of living, experiencing things. Secondly, the link between those two fears simply comes from the fact that Life is connection. Life is feeling. All your life is full of connections.

Moreover, most of the time, they both come from the anxiety of hurting yourself. That’s why you may push people away; being afraid to be hurt by the relationship in itself or for when it ends. Or you may feel the need to control things.

This fear might actually be one of the hardest to overcome (obviously though; because aren’t we talking about the fear of LIFE!) but here is a scheme of what you could do: Firstly, remind yourself of the fact that you can’t have all figured out for life is unpredictable. Remind yourself that connections are worth experiencing since they are the center of your life; they are the reason why all life is possible. Then try to find this one time, or probably one times, where you’ve been hurt by a relationship (for itself or its end). If you undergo this process, good luck I’m with you in spirit to go through these many. many. hurtful situations, because it underlies healing many other obstacles that resulted from those interactions, such as pain, stress, sadness, guiltiness, jealousy, rancor, and I could go on. Told you this one would be hard! But I must tell you; it is the most rewarding one to defeat.

Lastly, for those of you who can’t get their head around saying ‘I love you’ to somebody particularly reserved: ‘They are demure, not you’.

Here is with all the potential help that this article/story could hopefully give you. Don’t forget that it all starts with knowing why you want to end this behavioural toxic habit. And why it is so important to you.

I sincerely don’t think you want to experience these tiring feelings, succeeding in annoying you, EVERY SINGLE time, and at any given moment in your daily life.

Even though I, for instance, may have overcome my phobia of spiders, I still dislike spiders getting on my body, and still get scared from times to times. But that’s totally okay .When your fears come up, always remember: I want to live free of hassles.

I want to live, free

And because of this fear, I’m losing the wonderful, often ephemeral moments, where I feel like the world is Where I have always dreamt to be. These moments where Earth feels like Heaven.

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