I have this meme posted on my office bulletin board. And while it is true, it only tells part of the story. Fear nothing? Yes, sure! I am on board! Sign me up for fearlessness!! Unfortunately, simply commanding my brain and feelings to fear nothing does not effectively drop fear from my emotional repertoire. I felt moved to write this article for Unity to tell my story of HOW I get myself to let go of fear and move to living in a state of LOVE instead, and how Unity teachings help me achieve this state.
My friends think I am pretty fearless. It is true some things that are paralyzing to others are things I do without batting an eyelash. I often speak in front of groups large and small. I take leadership positions in the organizations with which I am involved. I frequently travel alone. I recently enjoyed an experience in a sensory deprivation flotation tank. I also participated in a body positivity event in NYC. Many have told me they are too afraid to do some or all of these things.
But at the same time, some situations that others may find insignificant send me spinning in to a death spiral of fear. For example, I have a terrible time at parties. If someone is talking to me and then rudely drops our conversation for some reason, I get very upset and afraid. I am likely to hide in the bathroom for a little while or go find a quiet spot by myself. I have a lot of fears of people making decisions about me, such as bosses, without my knowledge. These are things that happen all the time! And I know others that roll with these types of happenings in their lives very easily, they chalk it up to human nature or the way of the world, or whatever. All of this is to say, fear shows up for all of us. And it can manifest in our lives in both expected and unexpected occurrences.
When I recognize a reaction or a feeling as fear, I have a couple of strategies for wrangling the emotion.
First and foremost, I remember that it is the willingness to act on faith that has gotten me where I am. I don’t need to overthink and over-intellectualize. When there is fear, my job is to turn that fear over to my higher power, to act on faith that all will work out as it should be. To do this sometimes I have to do a meditative visualization. I imagine fastening helium balloons to a basket of fears, which then floats away. Sometimes I have to imagine a steamer trunk and a hot air balloon, and sometimes it’s the kind of shipping container they put on trains and a blimp. You get the idea. The problems don’t go away; I’ve just “delegated” them to the universe to handle.
The Daily Word App on my phone has all of the Daily Word entries going back to the beginning of time, apparently. Even better, it has a keyword search. When I search the term fear, the very first entry is from February 6, 1938. The word is Fearlessness and the affirmation is: “ALL FEAR LEAVES ME AS I REALIZE THAT WITHIN ME IS THE VERY COURAGE OF GOD.” If you look through the historical Daily Word writings, they show a common theme: We don’t have to be afraid, because Christ within has us covered. God is on the case. We don’t have to do a thing.
Another approach I often take is to call the Unity Prayer Line (1-800-NOW-PRAY [669-7729]). I give the person on the other end a very brief explanation of what I am working with, and they go in to an affirmative prayer. The words of that prayer always hit home. One time I was waiting to hear about a job change, and as I was thanking the person on the prayer line, she said… just remember, until you hear from the employer, all you are doing is hanging out, waiting for your highest good! So, this time, I made my own meme…
🙂 Peace and blessings,