Confront Every Fear
The Indian guru Yogananda made reference to a teaching by his master when he was an adolescent. It was in his book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, and concerned the subject of fear. His teacher told him that he was going to reveal a very simple lesson, yet it was of the utmost importance. The statement was, “Confront every fear, and fear will no longer confront you.” We, as human beings, are hard-wired to fear only two things: falling and loud noises. All else is learned behavior.
The ancient Egyptian and Greek hermetic traditions reveal that all manifestations in reality are the creations of the mind. The law of attraction is related to this concept. Yet, our fears are creating manifestations all of the time. It is interesting to note how difficult it is for even spiritually sophisticated souls to bypass fear as a motivator in their lives. It is one thing to intellectually understand how living in reaction to perceived threats can diminish our peace and joy in life, but developing an emotional detachment must be accomplished with dedicated and deliberate effort.
Fear causes people to stay in toxic relationships. Fear causes people to resist change. Fear causes people to repeat patterns in their lives that never worked for them and never will. Fear is about survival. Even when the threat is long past, the ego remembers and still reacts and controls. The cost to us is happiness and growth. Over time, we get further and further from our heart and our deepest longing. For many, pain defines their lives. Change can be a fearful worry to be avoided, even when necessary.
There is a Buddhist saying that states, “All of the unhappiness in the world is the result of people trying to hang on to other people, places and things in a constantly changing reality.” There is an ebb and flow in all of reality. Pain and joy are the same, and the truth is always in the middle. It is all a part of our learning curve in life.
So how does one effectively confront and eliminate the paralysis of fear reaction? Ignore the pain and enjoy what brings you happiness. Here we are back to the law of attraction. What we fill our minds with is what we create. I have learned over the years the following: The universe will always bring us what we fear to teach us to grow beyond it. So fear nothing.
The establishment of this paradigm is easier said than done. Periodically, one must “check in” to monitor feelings, thoughts and reactions. The hard truth is that one must feel what is controlling one’s thoughts. Until there is a recognition of the fear response, there is no possibility of controlling it. Begin by reviewing what you fear, honestly. Common fears might include: fear of commitment, fear of not being good enough, fear of abandonment, fear of intimacy. Pay strict attention to the labels that you have attached to yourself that diminish your positive self image. Then take reasonable risks to challenge those fears. The changes you create in your life do not have to be massive: even the slightest shift will add to self-empowerment. This is how we shift from reactive behaviors to truly deliberate living, and the objective is fearless joy.
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