Do you ever get the uneasy sense that someone, or something, is lurking behind you? You can feel its presence, but with every glance over your shoulder you find nothing. Some may believe it’s a spirit watching over you, an energy passing by, or your intuition kicking in. All of these explanations are valid in my mind, but I’ve noticed a slightly more sinister creature breathing heavily on my neck as of late. It’s a familiar, intangible mass that changes density and size at different times, but it always loiters around, sometimes whispering in my ear. In fact, it’s probably sitting comfortably behind you right now, too. It goes by the name of Fear.
I’m sure you know it well. Whether you’ve spent part or all of your life giving in to it, or maybe over coming it, you might as well charge it rent, because it’s not retiring to the Florida Keys anytime soon. Like a child getting into mischief, Fear is usually out of our direct line of sight and is deceptively quiet. You may not even be aware that it’s sitting down for tea with your subconscious as you go about your day to day business. On the other hand, Fear also has the ability to make itself known and to be incredibly useful in times of extreme danger and potential trauma. Fear was built into our DNA to keep us safe and to perceive threats, but with the potential of a mountain lion attack looking slimmer with each reproduction of our genetic lineage, fear didn’t get the memo to back off and take a siesta. Rather, it infiltrated our day-to-day lives. Like the plot of a bad robot movie, it’s purpose started with the of best intentions then ended up taking over the world.
“If I act like myself, no one will like me.” “If I get a tattoo, what will my mother think?” “If I’m not perfect at my job, they’ll think I’m a fraud.” “I shouldn’t go on that trip. What if I get robbed? I don’t know the language. What if I look like a fool?”
None of these fears rate highly on the scale of imminent death, but they shape our entire life. You, sir or ma’am, have made every decision in your existence. You are exactly where you’ve decided to be, whether those decisions, big or small, were made out of Fear or out of Love. In my personal opinion, these are the two forces that move the heavens and the earth. The end all, be all. The Great Bambinos. Anger, guilt, bitterness, regret, hatred, shame and anxiousness all stem from fear. Happiness, joy, relief, contentment and acceptance are rooted in love.
Think about the very last decision you just made. Was it made because you feared a potential outcome? Or was it made despite the looming negative possibility? Maybe it was made out of 100% love for yourself, in which case I commend you! No matter how small the decision, you can usually track the trail of your thought process back to home plate.
If you want to explore your underlying fears and their influence, become a detective who’s questioning every lead as they search for their perpetrator. Why did you pick those clothes to wear? Because you like them or because others will approve of you? Why did you decide to go to work today? Because you have to? Because of money? Or because you love being there? Even seemingly positive and “fun” decisions may not be as well intended as you’d like to believe. Maybe you called into work today. Was it because you needed a day to take care of yourself? Good for you! Or, are you avoiding an unpleasant situation that you foresaw happening? Is it possible that you went for a long evasive stroll around your fear, rather than addressing it directly? Be open, honest and compassionate with yourself as you go exploring.
It is not my intention to discourage every decision made out of fear, as it is there to guide you (not to control you.) Rather, I encourage and challenge you to be curious about your actions. Be aware. Disengage auto-pilot and make decisions with purpose. Explore the true reasons behind your actions, and don’t be afraid to embrace your intuition!
As you start to become more familiar with your underlying fears you’ll be able to more quickly identify the feelings of avoidance, fear, or love as they come up. You’ll make decisions that consciously step out of fear, and as you do so, I also encourage you to hold compassion for those who are also stepping out of their fears. This is an incredibly courageous thing to do, no matter the perceived size or importance of the feat. We are all brave and deserving of love, and only love can drive out fear.
Author: Christie Kruisenga is a natural health consultant offering consultations for those desiring holistic direction on their wellness journey.