This week’s topic is an interesting one for me. In some ways it seems like fear has been a dance partner with me for much of my life. I still remember a poem written by an old friend of mine (Paul Cormack), who wrote, “Sometimes I think loneliness is my best friend. He’s not much fun to be with, but he’s always around.” Fear has been like that for me. There were times when maybe that fear seemed justified, like setting a live trap for a black bear while doing wildlife research work, only to hear a twig snap a couple of metres away… Or walking alone through the more depressed neighbourhoods in a city late at night… But fear isn’t much fun to be with either. I talked quietly to the sounds in the woods to let them know I was there, and later encountered three sets of tracks on the road (one big set, two little sets). And in time I found that the paths I walked through the city were mostly abandoned at that time of night and I was left with the moon for company.
But that’s not the type of fear I wanted to write about. It’s the more constant, unsettling fear I wanted to cover, the feeling that can nestle deep into your bones until it comes to feel that it has always been there. As mentioned in our opening post for this week, fear is always about anticipation of an event: something that hasn’t yet happened but might. There are two things that most bother me about this kind of fear. One is that there’s nothing concrete to focus on; it’s like having a ghost follow one around. But more important, to me, is that this kind of fear begins to take away one’s choices. One comes to feel that something or someone else is in control, and the best one can do is succumb, submit. There’s no logic to such feelings; if there was they’d be much easier to overcome.
Over the years I tried a number of different strategies for dealing with this kind of fear. I tried facing it, but it was a faceless opponent. I tried ignoring it, but it wouldn’t go away. I tried befriending it, but as my old friend Paul wrote, it wasn’t much fun to be with. Eventually I decided to accept it, but not on fear’s terms. I began to accept myself for whom I am, and I began to accept this moment – right now – for what it is. Now is all we have, after all. In acceptance of what is, what exists, in shifting my focus away from the nebulous ‘what might be’, I began to lose that constant sense of fear. About ten years ago I even wrote a short story about it, called, ‘The Way‘.
For the most part I no longer experience fear. I’m still occasionally startled, but the feeling of living in fear has long since gone. As the saying goes, “Fear will not protect you and cannot keep you safe. It only engenders more fear.”
I’m going to end this week’s writings with a quote from the consciouscreation.com site:
“The Intentions of Fear and Love
We would suggest to you that whenever you KNOW that you are in fear, that you STOP, whatever it is you are doing, simply STOP, and deal with fear. Do NOT try to deal with the so-called events or emotions around which fear has gathered. For in the long run these are incidental. Rather, deal directly with fear, call it by its name, and ASK IT ITS INTENTION. If you will do this, you will know who fear is. And fear will always tell you its intention is to remind you that you are still not lovable. Then, you must choose. You may decide that fear is correct. In which case, know that any act which you perform at this moment, from this place, is not loving. You may decide that you have finally had enough of fear. In which case, we suggest that you ask for love. We know you believe you cannot do this. But you believe many things which are erroneous. So ask love, what is love’s intention? You will know if you are with love or still with fear, depending on the answer you receive. Any answer which is less than complete love and joy is not love. Do not make the mistake of listening to fear try to talk to you about love. Fear does not know about love. Only love knows about love. Love creates universes. Love is not passive. Love has infinite power. And love is relentless. It is time for you to separate your romantic notions from the truth.”
P.S. I also recommend ‘The Truth About Love‘ by Kristen Fox, and ‘The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig‘ by Eugene Trivizas. The latter should be available at the library or a children’s bookstore.
Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.