A wise man, J. Krishnamurti, once said “Is fear yours or is it a universal fear? Everyone in the world is frightened, not just you, but every human being. You are a part of that “Human Being.”
We all live from fear in one way or another. I’m speaking about psychological fear, not the natural instinctual fear such as coming upon a bear while you are hiking. Some appear in this world to be “fearless”, but that “fearlessness” isn’t true fearlessness. True fearlessness is always doing what the moment guides us to do, no matter what the consequence appears to be.
True fearlessness doesn’t enable another human being because it is afraid of losing that relationship. True fearlessness does what the moment calls for in spite of the possibility of losing that relationship. The only way for a human being to become fearless is to sacrifice the old parts of themselves that tell them they should be afraid to do what is called for in the moment, to do what they know in their heart is the right thing to do. That is the only way to see, in truth, that there really is nothing to fear.
In order to bring something new into this old, borrowed hand-me-down world, we as parents need to be watchful in how we are instrumental in proliferating fear.
Guy Finley, a truth teacher, shared with our class one day an experience he had as a child. He said that when he was 10 years old, he had to return an overdue book to the library. He never had an overdue book before and was terrified having to face the librarian. He pictured a pinch-faced woman, gray hair pulled back in a bun, with a long finger pointing at him accusingly.
His mother and father drove him to the library to return the book. His mother was going to go into the library with him, but when the moment came, he refused to go in. He begged his mom to go into the library without him, which she did. As he looked back on that now, that so-called “act of kindness” on the part of his mother just strengthened the fearful nature within him.
His mother was doing the best she knew how and because she suffered from living from a fearful nature herself, she thought she was protecting him, but by protecting him from what he saw as a fearful moment, she was telling him that the fear was legitimate.
His mother wasn’t able to tell him that the fearful images rushing through his mind were just that, images with no more substance to them than has a shadow. She wasn’t able to tell him that his fear wasn’t real because she believed in fear too. As such, the only thing she could teach him was that his fear was justified and that running away from it was how to be free of it.
How long do you think fear has perpetuated itself, unquestioned, in this world like that? Most likely, since the beginning of time.
Growing up, my youngest daughter was very quiet and shy. Sometimes she wouldn’t respond to someone asking her a question. In many of those moments, I felt the need to speak for her, and so I did. I had no idea at that time that I was validating the legitimacy of fear in her and in myself. I had no idea that I was teaching her that fear was legitimate because it was never questioned.
Have you, as a parent, done or said something on behalf of your child when they were afraid to do it?
Dear Fear: Why are you here?
What if this psychological fear, disguised in many ways such as anxiety, rushing, depression, etc., has a specific purpose in life to be used to bring something new into this world? Would that be a game-changer for you and your child? It certainly could be.
What feels more “right” in your heart, honestly?
· The idea that life was created to be a fearful one so that we are constantly in a state of anxiety and distress, or
· The idea that fear may just have a hidden purpose that hasn’t yet been realized.
What if the whole purpose of fear is part of the way to true fearlessness, but because we keep running away from it in the moment, we can’t know the gift that it truly is, as difficult as that may be to swallow.
Fear can be a road block in our life, or if used properly, it can become a road sign in our life, a sign that we need to observe and not serve. The only way to prove the illusion of fear is to walk through it, shaky nerves and all. What comes out on the other side if we do that, is something new, that knows a little more about that false God that we have served without question for so long.
Exercise for the Week: See if you can catch yourself acting from what fear is telling you to be afraid of. If you can see it before you act, great. If you start to act and can stop in the middle of acting or speaking, do so. If you see it “after the fact”, great too. All of that changes the pattern and strength of that false belief in all of us.
Image courtesy of: ThuyHaBich