Fear gets a bad rap, and for good reason. It creates a lot of suffering in this world. I once had a friend who loved scary movies. She’d drag me with her and I’d sit in the theater, hands over my eyes, dreading every horrific image that was bombarding everyone’s minds. With all the stress and frightening things that can happen in real life, why on earth would I want to pay someone to induce unnecessary fear in me?
I digress. Back to my point. Can fear be our friend? It can. I’ll tell you why.
1. Fear lets us know when something isn’t feeling right. Fear is an intuitive warning signal that protects us from negative people and situations. Fear lets us know when decisions aren’t right for us, you can feel it in your gut. Protective fear is our guardian angel looking out for us, helping us get in touch with our true feelings when we’re trying to convince of ourselves of what we “should” do.
2. Fear confronts what isn’t healed. Sometimes fear triggers wounds, and gives us an opportunity to overcome the past. Like the fear of abandonment. If you believe you’ll always be abandoned, you may behave in a self-destructive way, pushing people away before they have a chance to leave you first. If you don’t give into that fear as a present day reality or expectation, you can really open your heart to love and allow yourself to create a healthy relationship in the now.
3. Fear alerts us when our body is stressed. Fear triggers the cascade effects of stress hormones, putting your body on high alert to protect your survival. Fears can be easily set off on the freeway with reckless drivers, at a stressful job, dealing with difficult personalities, and financial burdens. You may have fears of losing or never having something, being personally attacked, misunderstood, unaccepted, and feel vulnerable in a fast-moving world that constantly presents hard personal growth challenges. When you’re mindful about the physical symptoms of fear, you’ll know when it’s time to invest in self-care; get a massage, do yoga, avoid caffeine, breathe deeply. Fear lets you know when it’s time to nurture your body into peace mode. Without the physical stress response, the mind may not realize just how stressed out we really are and we would miss the opportunity to help ourselves heal.
Hello, Fear. What’s your point?
So now that fear is your friend (okay, not your bestie, but the one who is honest with you even when you don’t like hearing it), how can it serve you? What is your strategy dealing with current fears you’re experiencing? Expose yourself to them and be pro-active? Accept them? Let them go? Talk them through? Research facts? Strengthen faith? Pray? Heal them with empowering, loving thoughts, and practicing yoga daily? The choice is yours. Just remember, in those times of fear and doubt, that a choice exists.