We all experience fear, it is just part of the human experience in the duality of the physical-mental world. Fear is a funny trickster and a sneaky little fellow. It is very hard to detect it and it is often covered up with habits and activities that look completely normal. However, these ‘defensive mechanisms’ prevent us from seeing what stands between us and God.
In order to experience the Loving that is available to us all through our connectedness with the Divine Energy which is made up of many different qualities such as wisdom, imagination, faith, power, will, understanding and more, we need to stand like children: pure.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV
Becoming pure simply means that we release the layers of ‘deceit’ covering our pure self – the Soul or Spirit – within us.
When we felt fearful as children, we learnt different ways of ‘being’ so to deal with the fear. Some of us were told ‘not to be silly, there is nothing to be afraid of’ so we learnt that we have to deny our feelings of fear. Some of us were simply shown how the adults around us dealt with their sense of worry and insecurities that are facets of fear: Some burry themselves under a heavy workload, some often talk in loud voices, some pretend to be careless and aloof, some become an alcoholic, some became mentally ill, some become depressed, some pursue endless activates and study project, some hide behind the thick walls of their houses, some pretend to be happy and cheerful all the time, and more.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NIV
Most of our fears stem from different so-called traumas in our lives. Some of these traumas are minor and hardly recognizable, some are major that one could hardly survive. Regardless, they created a fear within us that we often treat with a habit or an action that keeps us separate from experiencing the fullness of God.
Instead of healing the wounds and releasing the fear, we repeatedly treat them with habitual ‘activities’ that actually do not serve our highest good. In order to find the best way to heal wounds, however, we must know what triggers fear in us. So, we need to look into our patterns of behaviour, defences, habitual activates and routines. In order to see them requires us to become aware of our own self, every layer of it.
The process of becoming self-aware and in-sight-ful is called self-study or self-learning.
There are many ways to pursue self-study. One can attend seminars and workshops of different kinds. Some other methods are studying personality typologies. My favorite is the System of the Enneagram which can help us detect our areas where we experience fear the most and gives us some indicators of how we ‘treat’ our fears.
In my own personal experience, facing my fear was a process of many stages. The first stage was opening. I needed to open to the probability that I have fears that I hid from myself. I literally feared the fear. I perceived myself as courageous and bold, so for me seeing my fears was a process of discovery. During the first stage of my discovery, I understood that I handle my own fears as a worrier. I wanted to tackle it. When I noticed that I had a fear of heights, I went bungee-jumping and such. But fear is a clever chap, the more I fought it the stronger it became.
Stage two: sitting down with myself. During stage two I needed to start looking at where my fears stemmed from. I needed to look into the pain and traumas of my childhood and understand why I became a ‘fear-fighter’ and I pretended not to have any fears. During this time I came across the System of the Ennegram that helped me considerably to understand the underlying issues. Being an ENG 8 means that in my limited understanding the more fear I feel the more I fight which prevents me from seeing what lies underneath the fear. I pretended to be strong and capable instead.
The more I investigated the principal causes, the more I understood my actions and reactions. Insight into my own self started to give me choices that I did not have before. Honestly, it was a rather difficult stage because I had to take an honest look at myself, come to terms with the truth that e.g. I am not as strong and detached as I appear to be, and see the truth of who I am regardless of who I would like to appear to be.
Stage three: embracing. I noticed that one of the reasons why we avoid at any cost looking into our flaws and pretences is judgment. As soon as we notice that we do not meet the expectations of our self-image we start judging ourselves that creates separation and pain inside of ourself.
So, during stage three, I learnt to embrace myself. Every time I realized something about myself that contradicted my self-image, I just closed my eyes and told myself that it was OK. I loved myself with all my flaws and incapabilities. As a result, I became more and more honest with myself and with the world. I simply learnt to love myself no matter what. It is never perfect. I keep on discovering areas where I still judge myself or I play small. So, I keep on embracing these flaws and forgiving my actions.
Stage four: dissipating false-self and discovering true self. As a result of discovering and embracing my false-self, my cover-up activities and habits started to lose momentum and power over my choices. They started to dissipate creating a vacuum in their place. From physics we know that there cannot be space without energy filling it up.
I started to discover who I originally was before creating a false-self. During my meditations as I was expressing my loving for my flaws and releasing judgments and the limiting thoughts and behaviours along with them, I started to experience and inflow of energy. It felt as if God in Its Grace started to pour into me the knowing of who I am in my Essence that is of God. This inflow of Loving is literally enlightening. The more I release who I am not, I receive the knowing of who I am.
I am at this stage. I live daily the natural flow of Divine-Cycle – as I call it! 🙂 – insight, release, embrace and the inflow of Loving in return.
Stage Five: Acting in accordance with the knowing of who I am. Fear does not really exist at this stage. This is the stage where one moves into complete alignment with one’s God Essence and The Divine. We live in the flow of the Moment: there is no past or future to worry about.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16