Fear is primary to the human experience. Fear is there all the time. The question is never ‘am I afraid?’ but ‘to what degree am I afraid?’
Think of your fear as a guard standing watch: dormant, but always ready to strike.
Most of the world tells us we should “get over our fear” – that it’s wrong to be afraid. But that message keeps us from embracing our life force. Fear makes us feel alive. Feeling alive is foundational to our existence as human beings. And we can’t embrace being alive without being in touch with our fear.
We begin learning to avoid our fear very early on in life – even as babies. As a baby, one of your primary tasks is to attach to other close human beings and have a sense of security. And, as young children, when you’re afraid because you don’t feel that same sense of security, you learn to shut your fear down in order to cope.
As adults, we like to feel a similar sense of security in our faith and spirituality. But growing up, many of us aren’t allowed to express our fear, which hinders us from feeling secure. The only way for us to feel that safeness in our everyday lives is to get in touch with our feelings of fear and hurt.
One of the functions of our emotions is to move us away from feeling pain and toward pleasure instead. If you can’t be present to what’s here and now, then you’re not allowing yourself to truly experience your feelings.
Consider this: consciousness is being available to embrace fear, which goes together with your aliveness. And most of us are constantly cutting down our aliveness by squashing our fear.
I propose that our path isn’t to escape the pain, but to complete it. If you don’t face your fears, you don’t learn and grow. I believe that everyday spirituality is about learning and growing and developing your gifts as fully as you can – and fear is paramount to that development.
Do you let yourself experience fear in your everyday life? What makes you feel most alive? Leave your comments and thoughts below.
For more ways to embrace fear and use it to your advantage, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses geared to help you learn more about yourself, your career, and your relationships. So don’t miss out on the life you want. Go for it now!
Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.
Image courtesy Flickr user dryhead.