How do you define fear? I love the acronym of fear as false evidence appearing real. Fear has a way of entering our mind and heart. The heart isn’t a stranger to any emotion but we typically associate the heart with positive, light and goodness. But the heart also filters the dark, grief, sadness and pain. When fear enters the heart and we start asking our intuition for guidance, it’s not uncommon for the heart to reply with fear. This process makes trusting our intuition challenging. Is it our intuition or is it our fear? Are we intuitively moving away from something or are we afraid of getting hurt and suffering? As we think about fear, look at the ways it shows up in your life.
Fear can come from the outside. It’s everywhere. Just turn on the news. You’ll find stories to feed fear. You’ll meet someone who associates more with fear and that energy will find it’s way to your heart. We can’t control the outside. We can’t ignore that we are humans that build our lives with others through families, communities. Our day to day is surrounded by people. As much we’d love to keep our energy protected, it’s inevitable that we’ll feed on the fear that is outside of ourselves. Keep this mind as you think about fear.
We look within to find where fear dwells and understand why it’s there, where it came from. We want answers and to rationalize our experience. We might put the blame on our parents. Our society. Reality. And that's okay. But there is another approach that we can practice. We can start to see the fear outside of ourselves. That at some point in our life that fear came a little too close and made the heart worry. It brought suffering and pain so now the heart is on alert.
A beautiful scene in Paolo Coehlo’s The Alchemist is when the main character is instructed to listen to his heart. He is traveling in the desert with an alchemist who is leading the way and instructed the boy to build a relationship with his heart. At first, his heart had so much to say and the message wasn’t clear. Then he realized that his heart was worried and afraid of being hurt. His heart was afraid that the boy would have to suffer.
The Alchemist reminded the boy. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
Talk to your fear. See it outside of yourself and not as something you need to fix. Instead listen to the fear and let it know it's been heard.