Fear is a built-in, biological response to potentially dangerous, or life threatening situations. In that sense, it serves us well, making us more alert and ready for evasive or defensive action. When a cat feels fear, she fluffs up her tail, making herself look more formidable. Ears are raised, alert to every sound. She is firmly grounded, with legs ready to spring into action. She does not doubt herself. This kind of fear is empowering. We see this in humans, too, in crisis situations. Those responsible for great acts of heroism often say they did not do anything out of the ordinary. There was no time to think: they just acted. Somehow, they knew just what to do. Not only that, but sometimes they exceed human physical limitations: we hear stories of those who single-handedly lift an automobile off of an injured person. We are built for survival, with the same amazing instincts we see in the animal kingdom.
Survival has become less challenging in the western world, so we have lost touch with our own innate abilities and natural confidence. The fear that is more often experienced has nothing to do with survival. It is a fear based on the doubts created by the self-centered ego, and it is a disempowering fear. It is a fear based on the ego’s need/desire to be in control.
Ego manufactures fears surrounding its need to be loved, valued, and needed, as well as it’s attachment needs. Meanwhile, the voice of soul, which is in tune with natural wisdom, and the higher truth that benefits all, is drowned out by the crisis-making obsessiveness of ego. Like a little child who insists on pouring his own juice but cannot get it into the glass, and refuses to accept help, ego insists on its own way even when its needs continue to go unmet. Ego then protests vehemently at the unfairness of life, and the frustrations along the path. If the child would simply let Mom pour the juice, he could drink it and go back outside to play. If ego would quiet down long enough to listen to soul, less effort would be spent in struggle, and more energy would be available for fulfillment of soul’s desires.
Soul wants to experience the wonders of nature, the depths of love and compassion, and the peace that comes from a quiet mind and inner stillness. Soul knows that this is all that matters. Soul wants to resonate with the energy of the universe, for that is the only way she can recharge and remain conscious during her time in this three-dimensional world. When ego drowns out the soft voice of soul, people become more heartless, more lifeless. Lives become routine and mundane, with a need for more things, more excitement to keep it interesting. Outside, there may be a flurry of busyness and activity, but inside there is a creeping dissatisfaction, perhaps even boredom. The individual is not grounded in that which is timeless and eternal, consequently there is vulnerability for all that it does have can be lost. Money, possessions, relationships, youth, health, even our minds, can be lost. No wonder ego finds so much to be fearful about. Like a dog cautiously guarding its bone, ego is tied to one spot, alert to everything that could possibly go wrong.
Often this does not happen on a conscious level, but instead drives behavior from a place outside of awareness. The person appears confident and successful, but the excessive work, exercise, spending and worry are all driven by a fear of losing ground. Anxiety will always be there, for as long as we are grounded only in the physical plane, we will inevitably lose that ground. When we are connected to that part of our being which is timeless and eternal, we are connected to that part of everything that is also timeless and eternal, and nothing can be lost. We become observers of our own journey, no more attached to who we are than when we watch home movies of when we were young. The observer is wiser, with a much broader perspective.
At six years of age we were frightened that the loose tooth would hurt when it came out, or that we would swallow it, or that the tooth fairy would not find it. In school we feared not passing, or not being chosen for the baseball team. As we got older we were afraid the one we liked would not like us, or that we might not get the job we wanted. The observer sees that we can handle pain, and we can handle disappointment. The observer knows that it all will pass. There will come a time when we are no longer here. The soul knows there is an easier path than the path of fear and worry. It is a path of surrender. It is a path of trust. Not trust that everything will go as we have planned, but trust that we have the inner resources for our own unique journey.
Like a protective airbag in an automobile that automatically inflates on impact to surround you in safety, your soul is always there. Ego sits in the front seat obsessing about what will happen if there’s an accident, stomach in knots and fingernails chewed to nothing, while soul reclines in the back, calmly enjoying the view and reflecting on how wonderful it is to be alive. It is up to us to decide which aspect of our humanness we allow to take the lead .
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