Monday, February 11, 2013

Fear = Door

Next time that you feel fear about something, I want you to tell yourself "my fear is a doorway."  For as hard as that fear seems to you, keep thinking how it is a door.  Begin visualizing that fear, no matter how hard, is in truth a door.  Keep thinking that way.  You don't have to go through the door yet if you do not want to, but begin cementing that in your mind at least for now.

then, when you are ready, approach the fear.  Approach it with inquisitiveness and curiosity.  Is it really going to kill you?  Maim you?  Perhaps if it is a grizzly bear, perhaps yes, it could certainly kill you, but what I am talking about is something that grips you in the chest and gives you that pulse of adrenaline, something that tells you that you have reason to fear.  We all tell ourselves that fear is a good thing because it helps us to keep safe.  And yes, in terms of that grisly bear, you are absolutely right.  Having been face to face with a bear once, I think you have to proceed with wise caution and care.  However, I am not talking about this.  I am talking about something that has to do with an event that is in your past that you are now bringing unknowingly and only half aware into the moment so that it splashes its fear coloring onto everything that you see that you think is probably a good fit for the paint of fear. It could be something so far back you don't even have a memory of it, but it is no less accessible to you because of this (if you can feel it, it is right where you are!) I was talking to graduate students a few weeks ago about this, how fear is the one things that holds us back from so much.  Looking at the group I could sense all sorts of different fears within them.  We are all this way, you see, and we also benefit greatly by conquering fear because it also conquers and quiets our past too.  I said that if you were a kid and saw a man with a bald head and a grey beard lift up a child and beat him on the street, you could easily grow up to secretly fear such people who remind you of that past traumatic event.  Without knowing it, you would go on to paint people, however subtly, with a brush that does not fit them, but fits how you feel, regardless of the facts.

In meditation, in inner work, we can sometimes rub up against these fears.  As can often be the case, our consciousness can project what I think of as a dream image in front of our awareness.  It is essentially the same as a dream image.  It is simply a container for something that has no form.  We give the feeling form and thus our minds can work with it.  We see something in our mind's eye that feels scary or strange that we respond negatively to.  Often, we shrink back, or we demonize it.  We see it as bad.  We put it outside ourselves.  We objectify it.  We put it outside of ourselves even though it is not outside of us.  It is very much inside of us.  It is HOW we are choosing to see something.  In inner work, this can get slippery sometimes for the fact that we can be seeing something that we are not fully resolved with.  In not being resolved, we also may be inflexible in our willingness to move it around our perception and our fuller faculties.  Maybe we see a goblin, a demon, or a wall.  Maybe we hear a noise, dream of something, or feel some sense of menace.  For as much as we may think that the object is outside of us, the fear is not.  It is us, and it binds us into a relationship with the object of our fear in a way that keeps that relationship active and limits us.  It is a curious truth that when you overcome a fear, the phenomenon connected to the fear can change entirely.  Some part of you also changes in the process.  For the better.  For instead of allowing yourself to be robbed of energy by feeding your vitality into fear, you are free to feed it into asuredness, confidence, joy, happiness, or bliss.  When you resolve something like this, you no longer have a block about it, but you have a channel for energy to flow.  So then, fear ceases being a wall or insurmountable thing, but a doorway.  For you.  For your energetic self.  So if you do work in meditation, or in mindfulness, thinking this way can be not only cathartic, it can be another tool in dissolving blocks.  

So look, your fear can become a door.  At any moment, you can stop shrinking back and just enter.  When you do, when you let go and just go, the nature of whatever that things is can change.  to do this requires grace because by grace, we can let go down to our very roots.  Ask for the help of god or some god or deity if you have to, whatever it takes to get the job done!  If it works, I say use it!  Belief is a powerful thing.  But isn't it time that you stopped worrying on that bone?

Yes, fear can be an opportunity to know what is real.  In vanquishing old fear, you do not turn a blind eye to what is real, you simply realize what IS real.  Your fear is not some insurmountable wall.  It is a doorway. 

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