Heal the fear

healLast week we talked about fear a little, about how it might be possible to make friends with it. The reason we took that path is because another odd thing about the way fear works in us is that we hold onto the habits of being fearful and that habit can be just as destructive as the initial state of fear was. What if we could heal the hurt our fear left behind? Is that possible? I believe it is.

Fear scars our memory

Mostly we fear things that we believe are uncomfortable or painful. Public speaking, visiting the dentist, cleaning the pool filter. And so we put off doing them ever, ever again. fear can attach itself to so many things, and to little things (and that’s a trick too – you don’t want to own up to being afraid of something) it is easy to say instead “I’m too busy”, “too tired”, “Not right now” and we rush on, pushing our way through all the other things there are to do.  That’s why making friends is a good first step, but it isn’t the only step. You also need to be gentle with yourself for a while. We try and rush healing in our culture. It doesn’t work. We don’t work that way. Then you’re ready to work some magic and make something new in the place the fear used to be. Unless we transform the experience, we re-live it. Even if we’re never in the same situation again, we carry it around and act as though it is real and that is not freedom. That is being frozen by fear.

Transform your state of fear

Taking action, being courageous, facing up to the things you’re frightened of, these thing have value, but be clear that you haven’t transformed your fear. The habit of it, the scar from it will still be there, the pattern may repeat. We want to shift from a state of fear, into a state of peace, or safety or trust. From these states we can heal. From these states we have a chance to remake our patterns. There is a way out and you can do it. You can heal the fear that restricts you, that follows you around like a cloud.

This is your personal adventure. You are the magician with the power to shift your state, ask yourself what you need to make this happen, ask for help from the universe or people you know to bring what you need together, give yourself time to brew the right potion. Mindfulness about your intent and your existing habits is useful. Accept the help that will come. Accept the uncertainty of change. These vital steps put you onto the cusp of transformation. Your heart aches for comfort, but the mind creates the labyrinths.

The mind is where the magic happens, there in the cauldron of your skull.

Rinse and repeat

Healing is not a one-off thing. Habits form over time, and they take time to dismantle. This is not a ‘tick and flick’ exercise, you’ll be spiraling through these experiences. One thing leads to another, one memory raises three more. Humans are complex and we like to layer things. So go easy, pace yourself. You can heal, but you’ll need to give yourself time.

The payoff

Ironically, by the time you’re ready to cash-in the benefits of all this self-healing, you may have forgotten there even was a final stage! There is – all that energy that went into fear and worry is available for something else – something new. You might be so relieved to be basically fear and worry free that it feels like enough. Well and good, rest there for a while, when you’re ready the world will be waiting for you.

A gentle day

Rabbit smoking pipe - illustration by Erik Blegvad

Let’s take a breath together today. Just have some quiet time. We need a gentle day. There’s been a lot going on in the world.

For example, we’ve had some big storms lately. One last week that was a shocker and then one this week that belted us all over again. For once I’m not exaggerating, the government labelled it the worst in a decade. Trees and roofs were torn from their moorings, the public transport system was hammered, streets flooded as more than a month’s rain fell in 30 minutes. Just last night, the storm caused more than $2b AUD of damage. Twelve people were injured, none seriously, although there were wind gusts of up to 140klm/hr that tipped planes and trucks. Like thousands of others, I was inconvenienced in getting home. That’s all. I had to catch a bus that got me as close as possible to home and wait for my Knight in a white charger to come and collect me.

It was scary, tiring, confusing, frustrating and today, like many other people I’m shell shocked. It feels selfish to say that, after all I’m ok. We weren’t hurt. It is just that our safe lives feel like they’re changing. Things we depend up (the weather, public transport etc) are changing and in unexpected ways.

Everything’s ok. Everyone’s ok. All our stuff is ok. The dog is fine. There’s been other stuff happening in other cities, and shootings and riots and blah blah blah you don’t need a list of those horrible things to know exactly what’s weighing on your chest, keeping your heart heavy.

I hope you’re ok.

Whatever you’ve been going through (and there’s always something), you’re probably reeling from it too. Be gentle with yourself. Please. There’s always a push on to pick yourself up and ‘soldier on’. Maybe you’ve got kids to raise, and deadlines that are flashing red, or people expecting you to work far away from where you need to be, maybe there are people depending on you, and of course you have expectations of yourself. So of course you keep going, that’s what we do.

Even when you want nothing more than curling up under something cosy and doing whatever it is that makes you feel ‘taken care of’. Today, if you can, do just that. Or tonight, or in the morning. Take some care of yourself. Give yourself permission to take a little time to digest what’s been going on and reflect on how it played out. It probably didn’t go quite to plan, or maybe you were blindsided. This isn’t even about learning from it and all that grown-up stuff – that’s for later.

Right now is just for accepting what is going on for you. You deserve some space, some quiet.

Taking a bit of time, taking a bit of space, taking a big breath – this is not weakness, this is how we stay connected to our souls inside turmoil. If we are too busy connecting with news and updates and tweets and social media, we struggle to find the place where we connect to our inner self. Without that, we can’t begin to heal.

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