Do you sometimes get uncomfortable feelings of fear? Is fear an alarm bell that stops you from doing something? It’s as if those feelings are a signal for you to avoid action and giving you a great piece of advice. You may feel fear about talking to someone, and believing that the feeling is telling you to avoid the person, avoid the action – don’t do it – you will get hurt.
Our feelings have been fabulous in our evolution, enabling us to survive as a species by being alert to threats. When a grizzly bear is in our vicinity, our hearts instantly beat faster; we breathe deeply so that oxygen quickly gets into our big muscles. Our sensations we call fear enable us to escape. Is fear an alarm bell? In times back then it was life-saving. However, many of us don’t experience regular life or death situations in our everyday lives.
So why do so many people live in a constant state of fear and anxiety? Where has it all gone wrong?
I believe it’s because we have forgotten how our psychological system works.
Last week I was helping our son and wife move into a new home. It’s a dump, with no heating, but they will do their magic and transform this place into a gorgeous home.
One of my jobs to help out was to scrub the place.
I went out to the communal hallway with my bucket and scourer to clean the blackened paintwork. After a while, I opened the front door and whoosh; the entrance to the house slammed shut. I was locked out. I pressed the doorbell, but this was not heard. Never mind, I had plenty of cleaning to do, and hopefully, my son and wife would return home soon.
Time was ticking; the water in the bucket was turning a murky grey. I pressed the doorbell again. No answer.
I could hear the 90-year-old neighbour talking with his daughter and knew that if I spoke to them, they would be able to call over the garden fence to my husband and he’d let me in. Simple, you would have thought. But I didn’t want to bother them.
Time was ticking some more. I was putting as much dirty onto the paintwork that I was taking off. Why could I not press their doorbell? Is fear an alarm bell telling me not to press it? That something dreadful would happen? Of course not.
Interestingly, I suddenly remembered my Mum scolding me for bothering her. That feeling was over 50 years old!
It was as if wisdom was showing me that this feeling, which I perceived was about bothering someone, was old, out-dated and meant nothing.
I saw clearly that the feelings weren’t telling me anything. They know nothing about a doorbell, the neighbour or the future. My feelings only know about the principle of thought in that moment.
I immediately fell out of illusionary thinking into reality.
It felt like a shift, the mechanics of a swiss-watch being aligned and working perfectly.
I giggled to myself, pressed the neighbour’s doorbell, had a laugh with the older man’s daughter, who then called over the garden wall for my husband to open the door.
For me, this insight was huge. I broke the spell – I saw the illusion that those feelings are not telling me anything about the future. They have no meaning.
Our feelings are simply bodily sensations – they are not personal, we don’t need to get rid of them, try and change them, do something with them. When we are indifferent to them and realise that “we” are not those feelings – they are sensations – they seem to quietly exit, as mine did when I pressed the doorbell.
Now, you may be thinking – what about those feelings of fear we have when there is a proverbial grizzly bear? What a wonderful thing that we have our own internal doorbell, our innate wisdom signalling and guiding us instantly into appropriate action.
If you are suffering from fear, let’s have a conversation on how we can work together to move on from this debilitating feeling.
Hi, I am Lindsey Reed. I love connecting with people and enabling them to remember who they really are, their true selves. Coaching is online, the wonders of technology. If you would like to connect with me, pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon and is now in over 25 countries. It describes how we create our experience of our own reality called life. Through this understanding, we can have a more confident and freeing life.