We made it through the week of reflection upon fear and other topics that emerged from these contemplations. We started from being a fearless prisoner of one’s own image, looked at fear as a creative force to jousting with order and accommodate chaos. We were in a tunnel, dragging accumulated pile of baggage suffocating to anxiety and panic. I experienced an unexpected emergence of a new playful feeling I called devilishness. Perhaps this joyful state of mind brought in some alertness and the amygdala has reminded of her wisdoms. We explored the appreciation for and potentiality of liminality. The trickster joined the party marrying my devilishness with sense of conscious intend. And the last stop in the fear week took us to Japan where the kintsugi practice has shown us the beauty of damage allowing to see beyond the function.
Fear itself or considerations about it, play an important role in every decision that we make. This biological wiring is a foundational feature that makes us human. Experiencing fear allows to calibrate and position by touching own boundaries. Touching the line and sensing the limit of comfort pushes us into realisation of own finiteness and powerlessness in the face of something bigger we have no control over. This realisation is twofold.
The feeling of immobilisation and inability to control activates fear and can lead to a serious freeze response. When that happens any type of rationalisation fails until fear goes away. In the individuals for whom the desire to control is an important part of their relationship with the world around, fear is a symptom of a rigidity in the structure they have built for themselves. When it becomes too tight, tension builds up and when it can’t contain itself anymore, it cracks and eventually explodes. This collapse is then manifested in myriad of appearances - among others, anger, aggression, submissiveness and low self esteem.
On the flip side, the realisation of one’s own powerlessness and insignificance can be the most liberating experience. It completely eliminates control as an option and allows to open up to whatever comes. As you can imagine, complete surrender is a dangerous endeavour as well. Objectively speaking, even if you don’t experience danger it can still be there.
No doubt that fear has an important function that allows to open up in the right direction and at the right pace. It regulates our position towards the environment and can be used as a great revealer of our own boundaries. An the beginning of the week I asked you to write down one of your fears. Look at it now, I bet if feels more distant than a week ago. In the moment everything has different relevance than if you revisit it in a week. Take a moment and feel what is going on in your body when you read the fear. Does it recall unpleasant memories? Perhaps you are indifferent to it?
This simple exercise can facilitate necessary distancing from the source of anxiety and help to establish a dialogue with it in a calm state of mind. When we are calm, naturally there is more options available. Our deepest fears once taken out of context, put on paper and left to rest for a week, will lose their captive power. In that moment they can become alliances and help to set the boundaries for the future experiences. Explore them in safe environment first, distance from the source to investigate the sensation, get playful and curious. Being able to sit with your fear is a wonderful tool to have in the toolbox as in the face of death life comes upfront in full glory.