15 Aug In Defence of Fear
I wrote about Fear last year in this blog post. This topic came up again recently and I wanted to share my thoughts and, if you feel like it, start another conversation about it.
Fear seems to be sometimes portrayed as a negative life choice. Now, I don’t believe for a second that anyone actually chooses to be afraid.
Have you ever been stressed and someone told you to “just calm down”? Did it work? I didn’t think so. (It never does for me anyway!)
Over the last 4 years, I have had the opportunity to observe various fears with my son. I find that sometimes observing behaviour in my son helps me connect with my own inner child (and therefore other people’s inner children), in a more compassionate and empathetic way.
Fear is part of the lower or “negative” emotions. In our current culture, we seem to want to avoid (or dare I say that we fear) these lower or negative emotions. We wish they didn’t exist, we wish we never felt them and we wish no one ever expressed them, including (or especially) our children. By brushing them under the carpet they help grow our pile of “darkness”, shame, feelings of unworthiness and unlovability. Most of us seem to function without really looking too much under that “carpet”.
Fear serves a healthy purpose, it warns us against danger and can propel us into action. When my son, who is obsessed with animals, expresses fear about coming across a tiger or a crocodile in real life, I don’t dissuade him (as long as he realises they are not actually roaming the streets where we live). He is developing an understanding and respect for the real dangers and threats of the animal kingdom, he doesn’t see wild animals as fictional cute teddy bears.
He has however other more “irrational” fears that come up: for example, loud noises, even as simple as one of us coming down the stairs or the dishwasher starts, can sometimes make him whimper and cower in a corner looking terrified. I can’t explain why he feels like this, I can’t see anything that has happened in his life that could directly explain it. I currently choose to support him with this with subtle therapies such as homeopathy, which seem to work very well.
Who can explain everything that we feel and where it comes from: it could be past lives (if you are into that), our family history, the time spent in the womb, our mother’s emotions and our environment, our birth, and then everything that happens after that! We are all very sensitive and complex beings. Some of us find the process of trying to understand how we function fascinating and choose to explore various therapies and do self-reflection exercises. Some of us choose not to do this. I believe that we all need to respect each other’s choices and personal inclinations.
When current events trigger various fears in us, I do not believe that it is our role to pass judgement on other people’s fears. There is no fear “better” than another. We are all unique individuals with our own story and our own fears. The emotion of fear could actually bring us all together as we all feel it at different times of our lives.
Of course, prolonged feelings of fear will have detrimental effects on our physical and mental health. I am personally a fan of trying to work out where the fears come from and trying to alleviate them. However, I do not believe that telling someone to stop being afraid will have any positive effect on them! Everyone has their own healing journey and I try to respect that.
I would love to know your thoughts!