I’m going to start out with a conspiracy theory. Fear is a great control mechanism. It stops us thinking clearly, it takes away our freedom of thought and action and it keeps us in our place. Fear can make us do many things that we wouldn’t agree to if we were in a rational space.
These days we all seem to live in fear and this is played on by the media and governments, but it’s also something we create for ourselves for a range of reasons.
Fear is of course a useful and important emotion which generates a fight or flight reaction. It stopped our ancestors being eaten by sabre tooth tigers and it helps us jump from burning buildings and save babies from runaway cars. If, however, we exist in that fight or flight state all of the time it becomes a problem for both our mental and physical health.
A realisation came to me the other day when I was considering how to get to a particular location. Would I get there via GPS on my phone or would I do it the old fashioned way, with the street directory?
With GPS (and poor eyesight!) I can initially see only a tiny part of my journey at any one time, unless I choose to zoom out. I have to trust that the GPS is going to take me to my destination, is going to get me there safely and by the quickest and most direct route. I have to trust. But who exactly am I trusting? How can I trust when I can only see such a small snapshot?
The street directory gives me that bigger picture. I can look at my current location and follow with my finger the route I want to take, keeping an eye on where I came from and where I want to end up. I can work out what is the quickest and easiest route from a broader perspective. I can feel confident that I can get there under my own steam, because I have an overview of the direction I need to go. I only have to trust myself but this is easier because I can see the whole map, the bigger picture, and I can feel more in control.
Today we live in a world of the small picture or snapshot, of zooming in to look at what is going on in our immediate world. We only have to look at Facebook to see that we are often obsessed with the selfie and with what’s happening in this moment with our friends and family. We might get a snapshot of what is going on in other people’s lives, in other parts of Australia or in the world, but this is often also given to us by the media as a close up shot. They have zoomed in to keep us focused on what they want us to see and often we are only given a local context – we can’t see or understand the bigger picture.
This zooming in can keep us distracted from the important things in life and engaged on the lesser, smaller issues. It is increasingly focused on keeping us in fear, and fear controls, it makes us compliant, it makes us follow and believe in the rules. It stops us seeing the bigger picture, so we feel we don’t know where we’re going and we need to follow the leader.
As Baz Lurmann wrote in Strictly Ballroom, “a life lived in fear is a life half lived”.
Sometimes fear is an emotion that we have brought with us from childhood and we continue to use it as our safety net. It is familiar, even though it doesn’t feel good. If we fear everything and we are hypervigilant then nothing bad can happen – or that’s our thought process. We can protect ourselves and our family.
Sometimes fear comes from previous lifetimes. Lives we have perhaps left unfinished, lives with unresolved business, where we still fear what the outcome might be at a cellular or spiritual level.
On the subject of the spiritual or life path, if you’ve seen the Matrix series of movies you’ll understand what it is like to wake up from living in the illusion that is the Matrix. This is how it is to wake and see the reality of the world in which we have lived unconsciously – and often quite happily. We become aware that we have two lives – the inner and the outer; the conscious and the unconscious. Becoming conscious of the realities of life and truth can make us wish we could get back into the Matrix, so that we can forget or become unconscious again, so that we can un-remember the truth of the world in which we exist. But once you have stepped out of the Matrix into consciousness and understanding, it’s forever there.
This consciousness frequently brings a deeper level of fear as we realise the truth of our world. Often the knowledge of this truth is a scary place to be and as we add more knowledge, we become more scared. What we need to do is turn this knowledge into wisdom, to give our fears context and to look at the bigger picture. We need to find ways to accept that we have fear, but move through it to do what we need to do.
I often discuss the dilemmas that are part of the world we live in today with friends and family. We regularly question whether the world is the same now as when we were younger. Talking to someone in their late 60s recently, he said, quite out of the blue, “things aren’t any different today you know”. While it was in the context of our conversation, it also struck me as a universal truth. It isn’t really any different, it is our perception. And our perception is now coloured by an overload of information which may or may not be true, which may or may not be manufactured for a particular purpose and which we may or may not need.
Knowledge is not necessarily freedom, but wisdom is!
It is again one of those situations where you need to step out of the Matrix and look at what is going on. You need to drop the illusion and stand in the eye of the storm, in that calm place in the very centre, and see that the fear is the biggest illusion in our lives. Yes, it’s scary and yes, bad things could happen, but if you live in that fear, in that catastrophizing and “what if”, you are never going to move forwards. You are never going to live a life of joy, free of fear, a life that is fulfilling.
Fear and anxiety are probably the biggest issues I see in clinic. It has become particularly prevalent in small children and this is often due to how a parent views the world. Anxious parents do seem to breed anxious children and it is clear that many of the children who have been raised by fearful, hypervigilant parents are going to have a lot of work to do to feel safe in our world in time to come.
On the other hand, to live a life which strives to completely ignore what is going on in our world and to deny all of it is just another illusion we create, so we do need to find a point of balance.
But fear can also be used as a powerful motivator if we allow it to become a positive force in our lives. We need to recognise those things that we fear or that bring us fear. We need to bring reality to these things, we need to rationalise them.
And then we need to step out without a safety net and trust that the universe will be there to catch us.
Because mostly we won’t fall. Often we’ll be surprised that it was all fine, that we had a great time or we did really well or nothing bad happened. Because the reality is that we have created all of this fear by zooming in on life, by focusing on what people are telling us is the truth and by allowing fear to direct our lives. We can only see the smaller picture because that serves a purpose. But if we just zoom out and look at the whole, we’ll have a totally different perspective.
What we think, we manifest in our lives, so if your life feels like it’s controlled by fear, perhaps you need to zoom out and start to look at the bigger picture.
I bought a picture many years ago and it’s in the hall outside my clinic. It’s served me well through all manner of life events and it still stands true now. I still live my life by its words and letting go of fear is one of the difficulties that it has helped me to overcome.
“No matter how difficult it all may seem, never underestimate the power of a dream.”
We need to dare to dream that we can feel safe and that the bigger picture we create for our life can become a reality – with or without fear. We need to feel the fear and do it anyway!
What can you do in a tangible way to start to manage fear?
As a homeopath of nearly 20 years I see many people who live in a permanent state of fear. Often they have a valid reason for this, but sometimes it’s time to move forwards even from trauma and adversity. Homeopathic remedies, individualised to each unique life situation, can bring enormous change and offer support on a day to day basis.
Sometimes an objective view from someone outside your fear is really grounding and rationalises things in a way that you can never manage for yourself. I believe homeopathy really is one of the few modalities that can help us make these shifts.
Of course there are first aid remedies which can be helpful, and I’ve written on the subject of anxiety and fear before. There are around 100 first aid remedies which you can access as a home user. There are, however, more than 3000 remedies that an experienced homeopath has access to, so it’s likely that your individualised remedy is going to be something you wouldn’t choose for yourself.
As general support, the WyldChyld Essences are great for kids – I Can Do It (for courage), Special Friend (like a Guardian Angel in a bottle) or It’s All Good (to bring calm) are just some of the essences that can be helpful and which you can select yourself.
The Soul Harmonics are our Tangible Tools for Transformation on the spiritual path. Foundation (gives us the grounding we need to live in this fast moving, fear filled world), Surrender (helps us let go and move forwards), Release (lets us work with our fears and emotions) and Empowerment (gives us the strength to begin the process). These are just a few examples of the esoteric essences which can support our progress.
Don’t live in fear, make use of some of these tools and if you can’t help yourself, reach out for some individualised support in moving forwards in your life.