“I want you to write a post about fear,” says Kate, as we step into the ink-black tunnel. She’s getting ready to work with a fear that comes up every time she tries to take this step. She wants the comfort of seeing some written guidance, some validation too.
(We’re really in her office, but I imagine us going forward into that forbidding darkness together, miner’s high-beams like third eyes, lighting the way).
So here’s some of what I know – Part 1.
It’s a truth that dealing with fear is ultimately something we experience alone. No one can do it for us. And because of that, we never have to do it; there can be no coercion.
Anyone telling you that you have to face your fear(s) may think they are helping you but they are not. They may believe that if you did (face your fears) you would be happier and they could be right. They may love you and want that for you, but they are not you and you have to be ready. Ready, and in charge of your own process – always.
Because working with fear is internal (it’s about you being with you) the work is in your hands. Happily, there are techniques to be learned and help to be had. An empathetic presence of someone else as your companion and guide can make all the difference. With these tools your “hands” grow kinder and will hold more with greater ease than you ever imagined.
But I’m getting ahead of myself (again).
In Fear: Part 2 I discuss what makes it so difficult to deal with fear. Until then, you might want to give this activity a go (or not):
- Identify a time you knew you were afraid.
- Write a list of the sensations that helped you identify what you felt as being “fear.”
- With all the self-kindness you can possibly stand, and the most honesty you can muster, list how you reacted to it. Here are some questions to play with:
What thoughts came up when you realized you were afraid?
What did you do?
What did you feel about yourself when you handled it this way?
Is this the usual way, or have you ever handled fear differently?
Play lightly, experiment, no outcome required.
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