On Fear and Triumph

Greetings and welcome to this week’s message!

“Fear is a gift of nature for our survival. What is destructive is the spirit of fear, which consumes and immobilizes us even when there is no specific menace. We must overcome the spirit of fear by cultivating the confidence…and courage…which enables us to face and overcome every obstacle.”—Dr. James Forbes, Jr.

Most of us when faced with feelings of fear will often react with some type of avoidance, or attempt at protecting ourselves. This way of responding is a reflection of our conditioning as human beings. For eons, we were trained to expect the catastrophe (ferocious flooding, saber toothed tigers, etc.). And at this stage in our evolutionary development it is possible that the level of fear we are feeling related to a particular event, may be a result of our ancient ancestry, personal history, and genetic predisposition, along with various other factors. Clearly we don’t face the same challenges as our earliest predecessors. And so if we do find ourselves overreacting at times, then what are some ways that we can move beyond the conditioned reflexes of our primal patterning, and habituate more positive ways of interacting with the events of our lives, consistent with our development and growth as a species?

Our fears are uniquely our own. There is likely no other human on the planet, who shares the same dread and delight as you. Your best friend may parachute out of airplanes and be thrilled at the sense of adventure s/he feels, while you simultaneously experience terror at the mere thought of such an act. Many take great pleasure in a roller coaster rider, while others can’t even stand to watch one. The scenarios are endless. And so what is the point?

If everyone responds differently to the same event, i.e. jumping out of an airplane, then how do we measure the accuracy of the dangers, hazards, or relative safety of the episode in question? Perhaps the very best, and wisest guide, is you. And, in order to access the real you, there is a process of discovery in which you may decide to engage: Facing your fear. Now, this doesn’t mean that you literally have to jump out of the plane. All that is required is for you to just be willing to look at what scares you the most about doing so. See if you can sit with your fears and stew a little. And, when you think you’re about to reach the boiling point, cook yourself a little more.

Now, ask yourself what’s really going on here. Is the big bad fear monster really going to eat you alive? Once you can begin to stand back and witness your fearful thoughts, you realize that the thing you most feared is likely much less threatening than you had originally believed (or quite possibly completely non-existent). Now, you can transform the energy created from the fear into a power surge, which will support you in forgetting any remnant of helplessness from before.

You have the authority to extinguish any lingering dread that may be hanging around in the dark corners of your mind. And as you utilize this power not only do you benefit, but so does everyone else, whose lives you touch. You are in charge. And the very thing you most feared can catapult you into triumph, victory, and success. Go ahead. Rock your world. You are incredible!

Radiant blessings and love,

Luann