My Devil Called “Fear”

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Unobtrusive music is usually playing when I write and a style of electronic music called ‘chill’ is my favorite to have in the background. Traveling in Europe I developed a taste for this ‘chillout’ music that is characterized by a mellow style and mid to very slow tempo. Today a song called “Hayling” by FC Kahuna (Jon and Dan Kahuna) caught my attention. The song contains only two lines of lyrics that are repeated several times:
Don’t think about all those things you fear
Just be glad to be here.
Those words got me thinking about my “Fear” and the battles I have fought with it (lots of successful ones I might add). Four thoughts that surfaced this morning were:

1) There has been nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, that has had a more negative impact on my life than FEAR. The underpinning of almost every one of my failures, mistakes or fiascos has been one of the family of fearful feelings: dread, worry, anxiety and shame. The realization alone that these are the greatest blocks to joy and happiness diminished their power over me.

Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire. Dan Brown

2) The essence of life boils down into two forces: Love and Fear. Those two emotions are like the ends of a see-saw. The quality of my life is determined by which end is currently tipped. Life is hell when “Fear” is the heaviest. Living is good when I can keep the see-saw balanced. “Joy” fills me when Love has the greater weight.

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.   John Lennon

3) Far too many of my fears, for FAR too long, were long based on what others thought of me. A “feeling of not being good enough” is fertile ground for fear to grow in and a sense of flaw and defect is water and fertilizer to enhance its growth and power.

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us… the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls. Elizbeth Cady Stanton

4) My fears thrived in part because I long believed somehow, someway I could figure out ‘why’ things happen or are the way they are. The eventual realization that some things don’t make sense and never will was a giant step. It’s not the answering of ‘why’ that matters most. It’s in the search wisdom is found.

It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers. Patrick Rothfuss

Bringing up the subject of “Fear” and writing about it is a bit like dancing with the Devil but hoping to not be burned. The good news for me is seeing/thinking/writing about “Fear” is now figuratively like blowing on coals that usually aren’t hot enough to burst back into flame.  I’m grateful for that. Fear is no longer the silent, hidden and disguised illness within it used to be. Exposure to the light of day makes my Devil called “Fear” smaller and the coals of fearfulness too cold to restart a fire.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Frank Herbert