Seeing that one word is often enough to make us shrink. Fear and its variants (self-doubt, worry, anxiety) are difficult states to live with, let alone to work through.
Take everyday worry, that subterranean, subtle yet continuous trembling we feel in our guts along with the scenarios it feeds our mind. Worry is fear infiltrating our thinking, cranking up worst case scenarios, making us cringe with scary possibility. Worry makes us believe the only possible scenario is the worst case scenario.
When we are caught in worry’s ever expanding net of “danger ahead!” alarm calls, we tend to lose touch with our body, focusing exclusively on mental scenarios of bad possibility. If this continues for too long, we might find ourselves in the territory of actual paranoia.
So how can we work with worry? How can we cut through its feeding into our minds before the worst case scenarios take over our entire perspective on life?
Come back to your body.
Worry cut off from its mental frenzy is just fear. Feel the fear directly in the body. Feel into its contraction. When the mind takes over, keep bringing your attention back to the fearfulness itself. Stay with it. Open your heart to your fearfulness the way you might care for a trembling child.
Fear embraced with gentle, caring awareness doesn’t take too long to expand, mutating into excitement or any other life giving state. Fear injected with warmth turns into life energy we can use to properly take care of the situations we face in our lives.
There is a lot of trapped energy in fear. The more we work with fear, the more we can embody and use this energy, the more we can expand the horizons of our lives. We cannot talk about courage if we’re not feeling our fear. Facing our fear takes courage, and the more we face our fears, the stronger our courage becomes.
The dragon of fear is here to stay. It is not going away.
We might as well turn toward it, feel into its contractedness, and liberate ourselves from it by no longer feeding it. When we give fear a thought, we end up feeding the dragon from which we seek to escape.
Remember, the more we give our power away to fear, the stronger fear becomes.
Facing our fears properly also includes taking risks.
Begin by taking small risks, nothing too big so that you don’t get suddenly overwhelmed. Respect your edge. Honor your limitations fully, but also continue to step outside of your comfort zone – one step at a time.
The more we face and work with our fears, the more confident and self-trusting we tend to feel.
The more we expand our edges, the bigger the fears we can then tackle until, at one point, fear no longer holds any real grip in our lives. Not that all fearfulness is gone, but that, more often than not, we are simply at peace – solidly grounded in the deep knowing that anything in life is, ultimately, workable.
By then, we would have stepped outside of the realms of mere survival and stepped into true living and thriving! The journey is well worth it.
The dragons we must face along the way are none other than the younger versions of ourselves waiting to be accepted and healed. Let us bring them home, they come bearing gifts.