I have been challenged recently with a variety of different fears that reflect my current position in life, and secondly regarding particular people in it. I have found it’s so easy to lose control and be scared into submission and inaction, especially when there’s a few of them knocking down your door.
In a bid to manage them, I found I had to confront them. I did this through one hour of meditation where I focused on relaxing my body, then moving onto my breathing and then finally the fears.
I let each one of them rise up, taking the time to focus on each one individually and as objectively as I could. I find we naturally tend to ignore and push away our fears by default, so at this point I found it was good for me to acknowledge them and realise why they were there. Every fear has it’s own reason and right for it’s presence and needs to be respected if you want move on from it.
Once each one was recognised, I found a sense of relief. As though the tension I had felt that was mounting shrank, although didn’t go away altogether.
Knowing the reason for their presence allowed me to accept them more as I knew their individual place in my life then; it was in essence trying to protect me from something.
In the process I learnt where the fears were stemming from.
- What you assume other people think of you or will think of you. This is a classic and never goes away for me. I remind myself that other’s thoughts are their own responsibility to maintain and not mine. They’re affected by what they think but that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to be as well. There will always be the odd few who don’t accept you but remember it falls in low priority when you look at the grand scheme of life. Happiness, gratitude, openness and love, these are things more deserving of your attention. You’re not living on this planet for very long.
- What you assume people will do to you. This is a hard one, especially if previous experience has shown their capabilities of hurting you and how well they can do it. For this, I assured myself that I would maintain strong boundaries and always look after and respect myself first no matter what. You will always be vulnerable to some degree and that’s part of being human, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t walk away or that you’re incapable of healing yourself. Remember your power of choice. Pain can’t be avoided in life, but you can give yourself what you need to a certain extent.
- What you assume is going to happen. True events unfold in the present only and not in your imagination. I’ve found I need to stay in the present and trust myself to be able handle whatever comes at me as it comes at me. If you can do what is outlined in the second point, this shouldn’t be too hard.
As per usual, rarely any of my fears manifest into reality because they’re usually an unconscious reaction to a situation or person that has particular history behind it. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, but it’s an opportunity for a new reaction from within. Whether that is pushing up boundaries, giving less value to other’s thoughts and opinions or another workable solution.
The only way to build new neural pathways is to recognise the old ones for what they are, accept them and their current relevance in your life and start to build new ones. Surprisingly, I told someone who I was afraid of that I loved them, because I knew deep down beyond past the fear that I did, and I got an amazing reaction from them which leads me to my final insight.
The best answer to fear is love.