The illusions of Fear

anxiety-and-fear

There is always a moment where I resist meditation, resist journaling, resist exercising…

It is the ego who resists the healing because of the safeness it feels in the suffering. In the suffering the ego has created safe rooms, or states of being, that are like illusions. I am lulled into a false sense of security, that in those safe rooms, I am completely safe. I operate from a numb, autopilot state, not recognising my true emotions, oblivious to my moods and oblivious to the destructive self-beliefs that I run my days, weeks, years, months, and decades with. Essentially, I am asleep to the inner chaos and trauma that exists within me. It is like watching a movie, where the super-rich are so removed and disconnected from the raw reality of the struggle to survive, and the suffering of the poor who live in the slums. So, in my “castle” away from all the suffering, away from the pain, away from the rawness, I exist in a blissful bubble of peace, of contentment, and a bubble of empty joy.

Yet, there is a constant anxiety, a deep festering anxiety that comes from the sheer terror that if one of the deck of cards my bubble of bliss is built on slightly moves, it will all come tumbling down and be lost forever, never to be retrieved again. So, I don’t move. I practise not moving around in my bubble, so it stays stable. I drown out the tremors, the creaks, and the subtle shifts I feel when the deck of cards start to shift, and I focus all my attention on one or two things in my bubble of bliss, to avoid the pure terror that everything I have created may disappear in the next breath.

I recognise the theme of this fear, that in one moment is mildly anxious, and in the next has morphed into terror. This theme is called constant, it is always there.

I see it now

I feel it now

I feel the terror as I stay immobilised yet focused obsessively on one thing

One action

One person

One task

Almost burning myself out, with the intensity of the focus and action on this one thing. In the hopes that if I can completely immerse myself in this one thing, or better yet immerse myself in the lie that if this one thing takes centre stage in my life, then all will be well, and the deck of cards won’t shift. I will feel safe, the fear will go … but it doesn’t, it is yet another lie I tell myself.

I see it now

I feel it now

But I almost didn’t recognise it because it has changed its appearance. It is not dressed as terror anymore.

It looks different

It feels different

It talks differently

And that is when it dawns on me, this fear talks. It talks to me constantly. Sometimes so loudly, and in so many voices, that it drowns out all other sounds, numbing all senses, and in others it is just the one voice saying the same thing again and again, like a stuck record “You are a failure! Everyone can see the truth, that you are a failure!”

This fear, this voice, seeps deep into the marrow of my bones, like a darkness and coldness that I can’t seem to warm up from.

I see it now

I feel it now

But this time it feels like a caress from a soft breeze on my skin. Like a whisp of soft mist that disappears as quickly as it appeared. It is so gentle, so subtle, that I must stop and ask myself if it is even real, or if I imagined it?

It is the most deceptive of all the fears because it hides, sometimes even hiding in plain sight, waiting patiently like a predator for the moments when I am most happy, most content, most relaxed, when my barriers are down to strike. It doesn’t strike in a way that knocks you to the ground. It strikes in the softest way possible, like the breeze on the back of your neck that sends chills down your spine. It catches me so unaware, that I am instantly alert, heart pounding, mind reeling from trying to understand what just happened, as my world of peace and happiness splinter into a million pieces in that one instant. I feel like the prey, needing to protect myself, my defence systems fully engaged, but I don’t know who or what I am protecting myself from? How do I protect myself from this formless attacker?

As silently as this fear comes, it disappears. Sometimes it can take days to settle, to drop my defences, and get back into my bliss bubble. Other days, it can pass as quickly as it takes for my heart rate to return to normal. Regardless of how long it takes, the body keeps the score. It never forgets. As most of me lives happily in the bliss bubble, there is a tiny part that sits in the corner, back up against the wall, torch in one hand, weapon in the other, waiting, ready for it to return.

In my decades of practise of self-care, meditation, and self-development, I have come to realise that these fears existing all at once within me, fighting to take control. That is why there is always that little bit of resistance before I do the inner work that is required. I have come to realise that I am not resisting the fears, I am resisting the vulnerability that is required from me to sit with my feelings, to sit with the truth. To feel the realness and the rawness of the situation. To learn to open my heart, very slowly, with each breath, and meet these fears with a gentle, yet constant flow of self-compassion. The fear wants me to believe that I am not worthy, nor do I deserve this love, but as I sit mindfully, aware of my breath, of the openness that is being created in my heart, connecting to a deep and greater consciousness of love, I know that I am. And it is in that moment of realisation, of recognition, that the fears instantly dissolve, leaving me basking in the gentle hum from my heart.

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