“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
– John Lennon
Fear. It feels like some ‘dirty’ word. Yet, it plays such a big part in our reality. From birth, we are taught to fear. From the ‘bogey-man’ to Santa Claus (think ‘naughty-list’) and eventually God, we are taught to live in fear of them all. It almost seems as though an appetite for fear is cultivated in most young minds. As we grow older, we are introduced to a host of other fears: there’s the fear of injury, fear of losing one’s property, fear of what other’s will think or say, fear of not finding a job, fear of losing the job, fear of not finding love, fear of losing the one you love, fear of ‘failure’ (whatever the hell that means). Fear, fear fear.
Overall, fear has to be the highest grossing industry of them all- the news, the popular media, insurance, the medical industry, the arms and weapons industry… are mere tentacles of the same fear ‘octopus’.
We fear so much that we are unable to truly ‘live’ or to fully experience life. The only thing left for us then is to die (this brings to mind something that a wise man by the name of Bob Proctor said: “Most people tiptoe through life, hoping to make it safely to death”). But do we even dare to die when we are also taught to fear death?
“Now hang on a minute Indika”, I hear you say, “Fear has its uses and is part of our evolutionary process. Without it we would be extinct.” I agree. Fear has it’s place and can serve us at times. Indeed, I am grateful for the fear that has served me and helped me grow. Yet, what I am talking about here is fear gone out of control. I have no problem with the fear that screams ‘Dude! Get back! You’ve come to the edge of the cliff!’ But the other fear, that constant, all-pervasive fear, the fear that never really goes away… I would gladly live without. We understand that cells must regenerate in order to keep us healthy. Yet, when cell reproduction goes out of control, it can damage or even kill the organism that it seeks to serve. We call it cancer. It certainly seems like fear is a form of cancer, running wild in the collective-consciousness of humanity.
Enough about the problem (fear) for now. Let’s move on to the solution.
Growing up, I used to think that courage was the opposite of fear. I used to think that brave people never felt afraid. I used to think that if someone was afraid, it meant they were ‘weak’. I guess I didn’t know jack back then.
I now know that courage is what it sometimes takes to move beyond fear, (but it is not necessarily the opposite of fear). I know that even the bravest of the brave feel fear, but they don’t let it stop them from doing what is needed or from doing what they want to do. I know that it is ok for me to be afraid and that other people are afraid sometimes too. These realisations have played their part in helping me grow and evolve. Yet my breakthrough in learning to deal with fear came very recently and it came in two parts.
The first part was in overcoming the fear of fear itself (my resistance to feeling afraid). When I came to realise that fear has a role to play in my life and evolution, I came to accept fear. I am not a big fan of fear, but I have learned to live with it. I understand now that fear helps keep me from coming to harm at times and that’s a good thing. I also realise that without first knowing and understanding fear, I can’t get to know and understand its opposite or appreciate its absence from my life. This knowledge helped me in better understanding the ‘fight or flight’ (I’m on the edge of the cliff) fear.
The second (and major part) of the breakthrough came when I was introduced to the idea of love as being the opposite of fear. It was while watching a David Icke presentation that I heard for the first time the idea that there were two primary emotions: love and fear, and that every other state we consider to be an emotion, was actually derived from (or a version of) these primary emotions. Now I am not suggesting that this is the ‘right’ way or only way to see things, but I do know that it made sense to me and helped me, which is why I am sharing it with you.
Thanks to this new information, I was able to construct a more helpful (and beneficial) mental framework for understanding myself and others. When I came to view things like anger and aggression as manifestations of fear, I began to change how I reacted to it (suddenly, that saying about bullies being cowards made a lot more sense too). I could be more understanding and have more empathy. Think about it: if you took the view that the angry dude yelling in your face is not attacking you and that he was experiencing some form of fear, wouldn’t you be more likely to behave in a calm and gentle manner so as to re-assure him and diffuse the situation? If you didn’t see anger as a form of fear, wouldn’t you consider it an attack and then be likely to launch a counter-attack? Not sure about you, but this new way of thinking works fine for me!
Here’s another thing: since learning about the whole Love and Fear idea from Icke, I went on to learn that appreciation (some might feel more comfortable with the word ‘gratitude’) is closely related to love at a spiritual / energetic level (For the more spiritual or esoteric-minded among you, the idea is that the vibration of appreciation closely matches that of love). This idea has become my ‘primary weapon’ in countering the constant / pervasive fear. Appreciation can mean giving thanks and that definitely helps. It can also mean being fully present in the moment and enjoying an experience. Bear in mind that fear resides primarily in the future – some false idea of what could be. They say that you can’t be in two places at once. It seems to be true in this instance. If you are present and appreciating some aspect of where you are now, you can’t at the same time be worrying about the future can you? I LOVE this ‘weapon’ and it has worked a treat – the times I’ve remembered to use it.
In case you are beginning to warm to the idea and want to give appreciation a try, let me give you some examples of how I have been ‘appreciating’:
- When I’m out and about, whether it’s flowers, gardens, girls, dogs, children or a nice set of wheels, I notice the people and things I consider ‘beautiful’ and take time to really enjoy looking at and admiring them.
- At home, I am sometimes stopped dead in my tracks when I see my wife or daughter or sometimes the both of them together: they are both so beautiful and inspire so much love in me that I get blown away.
- Sometimes, while hanging out with my wife and daughter, I just think about how great it feels and how lucky I am.
- When I think about friends and family it’s pretty much the same thing.
It’s the same when I’m on Instagram sharing and viewing pretty pictures, with music, with my food… you really can get hooked on appreciating the good things in your life. I suspect that the more you do it, the better you will become at it. All of this (practising appreciation deliberately) is new to me, so I guess I am a ‘novice’ right now, but what a difference it has made already!?
I think this post is more or less done. But before I go, I’d like to leave you with a few lines that came to me some days ago.
Also, in case you were wondering – I do fully subscribe to the idea that we are in the midst of a shift in consciousness and that a golden age of love, peace and happiness lies before us.
Love vs Fear
Fear says ‘Me’
Love says ‘We’
Fear says ‘There isn’t enough to go around.’
Love says ‘There’s enough for us all.’
Fear says ‘It’s us vs them’
Love says ‘It’s us and them’
Fear says ‘Competition’
Love says ‘Co-operation’
Fear says ‘Black and white’
Love says ‘Bright vivid colour’
Fear says ‘Don’t let your heart rule your head’
Love says ‘Listen to your heart’
Fear says ‘Rely on logic and reason’
Love says ‘There’s intuition too’
Fear says ‘Revenge and retribution’
Love says ‘Forgiveness and reconciliation’
Fear says ‘Might is right and it’s survival of the fittest’
Love says ‘Have compassion’
Fear says ‘Win-lose’
Love says ‘Win-win’
Fear limits and constricts. Love expands and increases.
Fear divides. Love unites.
Fear operates out of the head and through the ego. Love operates from the heart and soul.
We can see around us the results of humanity’s preoccupation with fear. It is time for us to look through the eyes of love once more.
All we need to do is to open our hearts a little more and begin to trust our intuition, our heart-based knowing.
All we need to do is to get out of our heads and into our hearts a little more.
Fear has had its day and taught us what we need to learn. Let us be rid of it and build a better world together with love.