Fearing Fear Itself
Fear, the word itself causes some to shiver, as if it’s a conjured-up contagion or a tangible thing that will pounce on them at the slightest invocation. Somehow man replaces understanding and awareness with fearfulness. The list of things we’re afraid of is endless.
For starters: Flying, driving, expressing ourselves, certain people, animals, weather, helping others and touching certain common objects–just to name a few. I’m not sure how some have managed this one, but they have become fearful of being afraid!
I can understand one being fearful when in imminent danger. Like a hungry eight-foot grizzle bear towering over them or a poisonous snake mere seconds away
from sinking its fangs into their flesh. But why on earth should anyone fear any of the things I mentioned earlier?
Of course, we should have a healthy respect for anything that has a high propensity to cause physical or emotional harm. But should we be afraid of it? No.
Can you imagine where mankind would be today had some brave individuals not overcome their fears? What if they were too afraid of understanding fire, of how to acquire or generate it and then use it for the benefit of all?
Had they not stepped up their game, we’d still be in the back of a damp, dark, cold cave shivering our butts off! However, because our ancestors overcame any apprehension about fire, we now have central air and heating. Cool, huh?
The Anatomy Of Fear
Society is more educated, has access to ever improving state-of-the-art technology as well as tools and services our ancestors could not have dreamed of! Yet, the same fears persist. How is that? Could it be we don’t understand the true nature of fear?
- Question: Where does fear come from?
- Answer: Fear is self-generated.
- Question: How is fear self-generated?
- Answer: Fear comes from out of control thoughts or emotions that are usually steeped in error or lies.
- Depression: A chronic or fleeting fear of not ever being happy.
- Worry: A chronic or fleeting fear of not having something wanted or needed.
- Anxiety: A chronic or fleeting fear of over or under shooting the mark (a goal) and thereby missing out.
- Greed: A chronic or fleeting fear of never having enough of something.
- Hate: A chronic or fleeting fear of being mistreated, abused or harmed in some way.
Most believe what makes them feel afraid is the force or control other people or situations have over them. But this can’t be. People can only suggest, harass or threaten you to accept or agree with their feelings or demands. They can’t make you feel anything. How, when and what you feel is up to you.
Then there are those who will insist your non-interest in a certain thing is a fear of it. But don’t fall for that misconception either. You may or may not be apprehensive about stumbling across a rattle snake or a mammoth cactus plant.
However, that doesn’t mean you want to snuggle up with them either! Don’t confuse the healthy respect for a venomous snake or razor sharp cactus
barbs for being afraid. Never let go of your common sense just to prove a point. Know and accept the things that are of interest and safety to you.
How Fear Develops
As children we were spoon-fed fears on a regular basis. This fear feeding happened at a time during our young lives when were highly susceptible to suggestion.
Now I’m not saying our parents or caretakers where malicious fear-mongers who desired we live a life in constant anxiety. Far from it, as they were simply passing on what they themselves were taught:
“Don’t talk to stranger, they can hurt you!” “Put on a (appropriate protective covering) or you’ll get (chilly, sunburn, dirty, wet) if you’re not careful!” “Eat everything on your plate or you won’t grow up to be big and strong!” “Don’t touch that hot stove, it will burn you!”
Children are naturally curious and awestruck by the world round them. But they will not quickly internalize these strange suggestions—at least not initially.
After all, in little Jimmy’s mind, how else can he play with the little boy next door if he doesn’t talk to him first? And maybe he shouldn’t take a bath either if getting wet will make him sick. Nor does he see the necessity of eating those stinky
green flowers because he already feels big and strong without them.
At some point during the endless oration of all the things not to do, mom will pause. She’ll pause to wonder why little Jimmy is looking up at her with that universal question mark etched across his face.
Well, mom may be oblivious, but it’s pretty obvious to little Jimmy. Since he’s yet to be burned, he has no idea what a burn is.
Neither does he understand why the thing that makes food for him, wants to do to him something that doesn’t sound nice or fun! Isn’t it simply amazing how fearless and logical children can be at times?
Innocence Fears Nothing!
As seasoned parents, we know all too well what happens after those first scary warnings are issued. Children tend to do the exact opposite of the thing we warn them against.
Remember, their curious nature is still intact. Nevertheless, most will relent if they are scared or brow-beaten enough. But some, tenacious souls that they are, will disregard those suggestions often.
My point is this; we should never infuse fear in our children (or anyone for that matter) to protect them. Neither should we use it to sway or coerce them into our way of thinking.
What can and most often does come from these early implanted fear suggestions is this: A society full of paranoid, anti-social, timid, aggressive, non-empathetic, under imaginative, over excitable little big people! The more
humane and beneficial approach would be to help them become more aware, understanding and knowledgeable about the world they live in. And that all actions have consequences—both pleasant and painful.
As parent-teachers, we should stop reverting to the use of quick and easy fear motivators. But instead, invest a little more time and effort in telling them the truth and correcting them when needed.
But to do this, we should first step in front of our own fears and refuse to blindly follow along with them. Detecting when we are putting our trust and faith in fearful thoughts that are based in lies or half-truths is essential. Once we do, we’ll know the truth about fear and thereby become authentically fearless and more loving individuals.
You Have An Anti-Fear Serum
Do I ever get scared or afraid? You betcha! Do I accept the lies my fears present to me? Not only do I not accept the lies, I refuse to listen to or entertain them for very long.
“Fool me once that one’s on you. Fool me twice and that one’s on me.” Lol! Yes, I do have my moments, but I simply refuse to make it a habit of fooling or lying to myself. “To thine own self be true.” Yep, the truth really does set you free!
When I realized my fears were of my own creation and not the responsibility of anybody else to banish, I decided to become proactive. I chose to defuse any fear suggestions before they could take on a life of their own. By creating my very own version of kryptonite, I was able to instantly dissolve fear.
You see, the only thing fear is in fear of is you questioning it–not taking it to heart right away and thereby finding out the truth. Once you sprinkle fear with a healthy dose of truth serum, it shrivels up and disappears just like the Wicked Witch of the West did when doused with water. Waters of truth always dissolve and carry away dirty lies.
Eluding Fear Witchery
Our fears are like little or big alter egos. They want to be heard, taken seriously, believed, appropriately acted upon and of course, shared with others. The more we share/spread fear, the better at trickery and more embolden fear seems to become.
When fear gets to this point, it almost feels impossible to break free of it. By continually feeding and stroking an initially small fear/alter ego, we end up creating a bigger, more powerful, threatening fear bully.
This fear bully will take up residence in our back and front yards, inside of our homes, our place of work, our relationships…you get the picture, right? So, instead of brow-beating yourself
and others or feeding the fear bully, try empowering yourself with loving truths! Let the truth be told! No fearful lie can ever get you my pretty, if you don’t want to get got!~♥ Yvonne L. Jones