Surfacing fears

 

A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

 
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In some ways, there is nothing to do relative to surfacing fears. They arise quite naturally when we are faced with something similar to that which we have experienced which gave rise to the fear or we are faced with something which reminds us of the fear. The advantage of surfacing fears and addressing the fears we surface is that we learn both techniques and the ability to deal with fears so we never have to fear them or fear them distracting us from what we need to address.

Obstacles and fears both function as outlaws/bandits which jump out and attack at unsuspecting times as we see in the cowboy movies about the old Western United States. They jump out and attack at unsuspecting times from behind bushes, tress, hills and the like. These fear can also be seen to lie in layers, as in the layers of an onion. As we go deeper to a new layer, a new fear arises or an old fear rises in a new way. Fears are also like the outlaws in that the memories and beliefs that give rise to the fears continually run from the authorities when they are pursued and hide in the canyons and wildernesses of our mind. They surface in the context of a situation and continue to attack and rob us of the energy and courage to go forward. Fears functioning like outlaws as described require us to be always on guard to prevent them from robbing us of our creative ability and creative power in one way or another.

We donít know when fears will strike, but there are some particular types and kinds of contexts for events in our lives that surface particular fears and the associated beliefs and memories that go with these fears. As in the movies, canyon roads or narrow stream crossings, where the options are very limited, tend to draw the ambush. Similarly in life, the smaller the range of options the more we can expect the fears to surface. There are times and places where we can expect these memories to surface. In this regard, the more options we learn to explore and entertain in our life to have available to us in any situation the less impact fears will have if they arise.

Additionally, we know that as we break through one set of fears and rise to a new level of performance, it is only a matter of time before a new set of obstacles arise to be addressed. These cases are like the pealing of the layers of an onion. There is layer after layer after layer to address before we get to the center of our being

As we localize our fears, what we see is there are well characterized places and times that fear and their associated memories and beliefs can be expected to surface. All we need to do is to understand the kind of situations that draw our fears and then watch and look for them. Again, as in the movies, rather than have the posse go out running around in the wilderness on a wild goose chase, we can provide a guard through our awareness and look for the fears in the context of where we expect them to appear. It is a matter of learning to be awake, observant and ready to act at the first indication of their appearance. If we know our path through life is taking us into a place of limited options, analogously like the canyon or stream crossing, we can provide the escort of awareness and be prepared for our fears when they surface and not be diverted or paralyzed by our fear..

So where do the beliefs, memories, and attitudes come from that give rise to our fears? Many of them come from living in the past and are a result of our family, our society, the tradition in which we grew up. Some come from recent experience, but many go back to the very earliest memories and may be very outdated, but we have never gone back and fixed the programming or response pattern we use to address them. It is like those times when we are ready to do something and a fear passes through and we say, "Now why should I be fearful, I have done this many times before?" We are puzzled and donít quite understand, but all we are experiencing is one of our outlaw memories passing through, hoping to get some attention and robbing us of some energy. It is here that the key to their capture becomes apparent. We need to be aware and observant of what does pass through our mind and when.

Becoming mindful and aware is why something like meditation is such a useful practice and is emphasized in so many spiritual traditions. Meditation may be useful in itself, but more importantly it can teach us to watch our mind and become observant of what is in our mind. Meditation is not about sitting and learning to meditate. It is about making the mind observant to catch and clean it from unwanted intruders in everything we do. In a meditative practice we are frequently taught to learn to catch ourselves when we drift off the object of our meditation. Whether we are observing the space between thoughts, repeating a mantra or observing the thoughts as they pass through the mind as clouds pass in the sky, we learn to becomes aware when we leave the object of the meditation and non-judgmentally bring our focus and attention back to the meditation. But if all we do is sit and meditate will not use the real usefulness mediation can give us.

In living our life, we need to reverse this practice. The meditation teaches us to bring our mind back to the meditation. Any activity in life can be a meditation if one makes it such. If we do so, then, whenever a stray thought, like a fear or outlaw memory or belief passes through our mind, we can catch it and choose either to go back to our meditation or the activity in which we were engaged, or we can pursue the outlaw memory causing our fear, because, being observant as a result of our meditative practice, we caught its presence. We can do this because we have taught ourselves to be observant when we lose focus from the object of our meditation. In recognizing the fear, memory or belief, we can make them conscious and, in observing them and following them to their hide out, we can gain power over them and hopefully rid them once and for all f rom our mind. Running away from our fears only gives them power over us. Pursuing our fears gives us power over them.

This brings up the whole concept of how we should be living and experiencing life. Too often we focus on the end result of our actions and do not experience the journey as we should. Experiencing the journey is about being mindful and aware of what we are doing every moment we are doing it and enjoying the experience of doing it. However, we tend to be doing activities and living in the past of what has been or worrying about the future and tomorrow and we are just not present in the present. No matter what we are doing, no matter how mundane our psyche thinks it is, we need to become aware of what we are doing and experiencing in the moment.

The idea is to do everything we do with love and attention. If we are eating, we should eat mindfully. Eating slowly, tasting each bite and not gulping what we drink. We look at eating like a car pulling up to a gas station. Get the fuel in the car as quickly as possible and get on with the journey, forgetting that stopping and getting gasoline is part of, and integral to, the journey. When we eat we are not always observant of the eating and the pleasure of eating. Of course, we can read the paper while eating or talk while eating, but then we need to be mindful that we are eating and reading the paper or eating and talking. Are we aware we can be both eating and reading the paper but yet worrying about something else? It can get quite ridiculous.

The issue here is have we ever looked closely at our life and all that we are juggling on a routine basis? There is a childhood game of rubbing our stomach, patting our head, hopping on one foot, while whistling a song, often the song Dixie. We are taught it as a childhood game. Yet, this is societyís way of preparing us for life in the big corporate city and climbing the success ladder or being the mother of a child, the wife of a husband and being employed in a full time job outside the house. In each case, trying to do a dozen things at once, paying attention to none of them and enjoying each less and less .

Thoughts and methods for surfacing fears

The following discussions provided some thoughts and methods as to how to surface fears in our life. The recommendation is to use which methods seem to be the most effective at catch our fears.

Non-denial: Non denial is about being mindful and aware and not denying what arise from within but to embrace it and work with the energy giving rise to what we experience. Additional discussion is provided in the topic, "Non-Denial."

Working with what arise within us: In learning to get in touch where we have focused our attention and awareness and/or observing the fears in our life we only need to look at the thoughts we have and how we respond to the situations in life we experience. In looking to work with how we have focused our attention and awareness we can work at one of three levels. These three ways and levels reflect moving from working with the energy within our being and psyche around a given issue consciously to working with the energy more nonconsciously where the energy is already encoded in a body response.

The easiest level is to work with the thoughts and energy in our mind before we take any actions whatsoever. Working with our thoughts and energy in the mind is about learning what generates our thoughts and how we can go about "gardening" our life so as to create the thoughts which serves us and what we desire to create. Additional discussion is provided in the topic, "Working with our thoughts and energy in the mind."

The second way is to be mindful and aware to see what arises within us in response to our world and work with what arises before we act. Additional discussion is provided in the topic, "Working with what arises before we act."

The third way which is the hardest of the three ways is to work with how we response to what we experience. Our goal should be to become sufficiently mindful and aware to see what arises within ourselves before we act. However, is often hard to do. Here the challenge become how to figure out how we respond to a situation or would respond to a situation before we actually face the situation. Additional discussion is provided in the topic, "Working with how we act in response to what we experience."

The external world speaks of our internal world all the time: Since our inner world is reflected in the outer and the human physical experience is our consciousness expressed physically, our external world reveals our inner world and communicates with us information about our inner world and what we desire in our nonconscious mind. We just need to learn how our outer world communicates with our inner world and learn the language of the inner world to use our outer world to reveal the inner. Additional discussion is provided in the topic, "The external world speaks of our internal world all the time."

Recapitulation: Recapitulation is any formal structured review and self analysis and personal inventory. It is going back to discover what energy we left behind and what it is we fear losing, experiencing, seeing or whatever it is that is tying up our energy in fears and insecurities about life. Drawing and sharing a life map is one of the more effective ways that has been found for recapitulation and the symbols and images we choose often release the fear without our even realizing there were fears attached to the memories. If you have not drawn a life map, it is highly recommended you do so. It can be a lot of fun. If the goal is to surface fears, when drawing the life map, attention should be given to those situations where one of the end results of the experience was some pain and fear such that we began to respond to life differently because of the experience.

Ask the heart: We forget that our heart has been encoded with the life our creative spirit desires and wants us to live. All we need to do is to ask the heart and trust in the asking that it will reveal what we ask of it. The simple request of ,"What fears do I need to face to live my heart," will surface all the fears that we needs to face. However, we should be warned that very shortly we may find ourselves faced with an enormous terror - it may be unimaginable that a fear could be so large and gigantic. Upon its appearance we my say, "My God, where did this come from?. "We then may hear or feel, "Well, you asked to know the fear that needed to be faced didnít you?" In looking at what arises we will discover it is only our heart revealing what we asked. But we need to understand that it would not show us such things if we did not have the internal strength to overcome them. Our heart will reveal only that which we are capable of handling at the moment. There is no need to fear to ask the heart, because the heart is of love and desires to create and nurture the life we incarnated to live. It will lead us only as fast as we are capable of being led at the time.

Ask for healing dreams: Dreams frequently seem to be a remote, non-understandable part of life. Generally, we all have come to our own conclusion on what they mean and how we will or will not use them in our life. However, they can be extremely effective for surfacing much information. There is a technique called healing dreams, Before we go to sleep, we asks for a healing dream to heal what ever the condition may be. Wee may need to ask for several nights, but usually we get an answer the first night. Either one of two things will happen. We will have a dream that deals with the issues at hand and the information is contained in the dream. Or, upon awakening in the morning there will be a residual thought, or idea that is actually the next step of the solution to our healing. Additional discussion on healing dreams is found in the topic "Healing Dreams."

The role of the adversary or the role of the petty tyrant: Probably one of the most effective ways to surface our fears is with the assistance of the adversary or petty tyrant. Our adversary or petty tyrant is one who "pushes all our buttons" and brings up all our hates, angers and fears so that we can face them, and be done with them while at the same time experiencing the range of emotions necessary to awaken our consciousness. Additional discussion is found in the topic, "The role of the adversary or petty tyrant."

The Challenger: A variation of the adversary and the petty tyrant is the Challenger The Challenger asks the hard questions each must ask to see clarity in our life. When the call comes to awaken we are resentful and suddenly find our complacent life is disrupted; fear reenters our life and we try and run from those fears. But there is no running, they follow us everywhere. They are within us and there is no other way than to turn and confront them. There are gentle ways to face fears if only one accepts the fact that there is no other way than to ultimately face our fears. It is the Challenger who confronts and challenges us to become fearless and become who we really are. A discussion is found in the topic, "The role of the Challenger."

Use of prayer and intentions: Prayers and intentions can be used in two ways. In essence they are the same things. There difference lies in who we expect to take action and do work. When we set an intention, we know we have to do the work. When we say a pray or make a payer request, we are seeking the unseen  world in whatever way we understand it to assist us in our effort. There is nothing wrong with this as long as we follow the old Arab proverb, "Trust in God but tether your camel." That is to what we need to do and allow God to do what He/She/It needs to do.

The first way prayers and intentions are used is the obvious way and is essentially the same as asking the heart as discussed above. One can say a prayer or set the intention to surface the fears in a given area and then address what arises as it arises. Interestingly, the obstacles that prevent us from addressing that intention, that fear or those fears we wish to uncover, will also arise in the same way an obstacle would arise to prevent the manifesting of any intentionality. What we end up seeing, are fears nested in fears and sometimes we are back to the onion analogy where you are continually pealing off layer after layer of fears. However, with patience and strength of will, we will succeed.

The second way prayers and intentionality can be used to surface and address fears is related to the we say a prayer or set an intention. Frequently we knowingly, or unknowingly, have a deep seated attachment to something that the intention or prayer would requires us to give up. For example one prays or sets the intention to manifest a business but then they fear the risks one would need to take to manifest the business. Consequently, we are faced with a fear of loss. When we formulate a prayer or intention, we should ask ourselves how it feels and then watch to see if any feelings or bodily sensations indicative of resistance surface. Another way is by imagining ourselves in the situation that would manifest if the intention were successfully manifested and then see if any feelings or emotions arise in opposition to that image.

As discussed above and in the topic, "The external world speaks of our internal world all the time," we may get positive or negative feelings as we visualize the successful manifestation. Positive feelings of joy or happiness would indicate our being and beliefs are supportive of manifesting what we desire. If, however, there were feelings of reluctance, fear, or dislike, one can suspect there is an attachment of some type to something that must change or be given up to achieve the successful manifestations of the prayer or intention. Unless we deal with this fear, the nonconscious will not allow the free flow of our creative life energy to manifest what we desire and we will remain in the situation as it is. It is essential the fears be addressed before the intention is set. The nonconscious must be fully supportive of the new situation or it will not manifest the desire.

Focusing on a bodily sensation: In any of the above situations concerning surfacing fears, we may be faced with a bodily sensation of some type in reaction to the situation at hand. A general technique for focusing of body sensations is found in the topic "Focusing on a body sensation."

Discussion path in dealing with fear
Dealing with fear

The previous step
Key fears

Current step
Surfacing fears

The next step
Stepping out to face the fear

Future steps
Facing the fears
Dispersing the energy within the fear to destroy is power over us

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