Unrealistic Fear is the root of all bad or broken behavior. Broken Fear is the catalyst for all poor decisions, hurt actions and self destruction. Fear is a thief. It robs every human of dream realization, peace, and joy. However, healthy fear guides us. When it is right sized it has the power to move us into action and develop wisdom. Without healthy fear we would pet rattle snakes, dodge traffic or risk everything for foolish reward. So it isn’t fear itself that is the culprit, but rather our perspectives of the moment that affects our decisions positively or negatively.
To live without fear is to be completely desensitized to the reality of this existence. We must experience stress and concern at the correct moments with clear perspective to stay out of danger’s way and ultimately keep on the path towards joy. Without strife we wouldn’t have a clue of the value of peace or joy or harmony. In other words, every bad meal makes ice cream that much more delightful and if fire didn’t alarm us we would stay and burn in its glow.
The true objective is to fear less. But, not to expect to be free of concern if we expect to fare well in this life journey. Struggle is the touchstone to growth. When we are not struggling we are not growing. But there must be rest, appreciation and joy or we burn ourselves out. So fear less, not fear no more.
So how do we know the difference between healthy fear and broken fear? To get that answer we must first understand how fear works. Fear is a reaction. It is not something that we do, but rather something that we experience.
Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
We don’t DO fear. We experience it. It is not the result of circumstances. It is the result of our perspective of the outcome of circumstances and ultimately the meaning of that outcome. So imagine that you are afraid of heights. You aren’t actually afraid of being up high, but rather it is your perspective of the potential result of being high and what that means that is causing the panic. If you fall you could get hurt or killed. You are afraid of being hurt or killed. Your mind has decided that this is an absolute possibility and now every time you are up high you begin to feel the affect. Adrenaline fills your muscles putting your body into posture to fight or flee. Your heart begins to race. Your breathing escalates increasing the oxygen intake to further prepare your body and your mind is making decisions about your situation. This is fear. The greater the amount, then the greater the physical, mental and emotional reaction. You have no choice. You are not doing this. It is happening to you. There is nothing you can do to simply NOT be afraid. You can’t say “STOP” to your respiratory system, or chemical flow. You can't simply inform your mind that it is being silly and halt the process of fear.
It is your perspective of the experience and the meaning of that perspective that is the culprit. If you wish to drill it down more deeply, then it is the instinct threatened by the meaning of that perspective that is actually threatened and not even you as a whole. If I have a low or hyper active self esteem instinct and someone tells me that I am ugly then I am at risk of having an emotional reaction. The reaction, if negative is fueled by fear. Regardless if I get angry, sad or frustrated. Those are simply branches of fear in disguise. They are defective character assets used in fight or flight which are the resulting action items of fear. I am programmed down to my DNA (as far back as ancient man) to either fight or flee from my danger and therefor any aspect of these activities that is demonstrated is a result of fear fueled instinct.
Anger: yell, argue, hit, hurt, manipulate, condemn, judge, abuse, lecture, talk over you, vengeance, jealousy (Fight in motion)
Sadness: run away, close down, cry, hide my feelings, lie, surrender, passively avoid, dodge the issue (Flight in motion)
The level of intensity or frequency that these and other defects are utilized in one’s life is an indication of how often and how intense their internal fear is. You can start to imagine how valuable alcohol must be to an alcoholic. They are ripe with fear. Constant fear. Their behavior is so destructive that it manifests more and more reasons to be afraid. Alcohol and drugs numb the pain sensors of emotional panic and leave a human with a synthetic feeling of joy and the absence of fear. However, the craving for more and more substance grows (at varied rates) and the human being is catapulted into a downward spiral that leaves them deeper into an abyss. A cauldron of fear that no amount of substance could actually quell. The real issues are never actually mended and the person is left hollow, addicted, ripe with panic and broken life ingredients.
The reason for fear can NOT be simply discarded chemically. The danger is still present and the person has no ability to cope with any life issue. They numbed themselves out so frequently that even healthy fear was abolished in an unhealthy manner and they stop emotionally growing. They are left adult children without the ability to handle life on life’s terms.
So if you are a person that is ripe with fear or if fear is a powerful block to productivity, how do we move into action? How do we moderate the fear and push forward? Perspective. This is the only area of concern. We must change our perspective and their translation of the value of our perspectives.
Let us profile an imaginary person (low level assessment):
Age: 30 years old
Philosophy: Raised Catholic but states that she believes in reincarnation and believes that everything happens for a reason
Addition History: Mom is alcoholic, Dad is gone since she was 5 and 2 of her 4 siblings are addicts, she is an Alanon candidate
Family Dynamic: Moved around a lot, always hungry and broke as a tribe, Mom was physically abusive and emotionally neutral, sexual abuse from an uncle, both brothers were physically and emotionally abusive and 2 sisters were close to her but one died in a car crash when she was 16. She was mauled by a neighbors dog at 7 and had to have surgery on her leg and face.
Relationship history: 3 boyfriends. All abusive and 2 of them alcoholic. She has always been the primary bread winner and is now single with objectives
Asset List: College Degree, Traci is a social service worker, history of athletics, loves to read, artistic and loves nature. She dreams of being a mother but doesn’t believe in marrying the wrong man or starting a family until she does find the one that makes sense, balanced ambition
Defect list: Hyper active security, self esteem, sex and social instincts, Co-dependent, trust issues, and is a yeller, She triggers easily if her security or character is threatened. She falls in love fast and usually with the wrong type of person.
If Traci found herself walking down a dark alley and confronted by a large aggressive dog at night time. What would her natural reaction be? What instinct(s) would be threatened. What would be her defense? Fight or flight? Would she have any control over her feeling of fear? Why is she feeling fear?
What if Traci met a high quality man. They fell in love and she felt that she had finally found the man of her dreams, but his biggest issue is addiction. He can’t stand people that are emotionally out of control with regards to substance. What will Traci’s emotional response be? Will she feel fear? Why? What instincts would be threatened? Does she have power over these feelings?
Traci will be at the mercy of a world that continues to touch her past issues accidentally. Her fear is now on auto pilot. Her reactions are based on her perspectives and the meaning of those perspectives.
The dog is dangerous. She learned that as a child. She has deep seated trauma and has come to believe that you can’t trust anyone or anything and dogs are dangerous. This animal is growling and it is dark. Her natural reaction will be to prepare to run. She will feel a need to get away from the danger/threat. Her security instinct is threatened. It is telling her that she is in physical danger. She will not relax until she is away from the threat.
The new man will never accept her family. She is codependent. Her family and their actions are her own. She will feel that her family is an extension of herself and either take his judgement as personal criticism or proof that he will simply leave her anyway. Her natural reaction will be to either hide him from her family or simply run away from him. She is afraid of not being married to the right man or not ever having children. He is an answer to her need and so her defects will appear to defend her dreams. Her sex, self esteem and social instincts are all threatened. She is deeply afraid. She has no control over these feelings.
She will not be comfortable with him until either:
a. He accepts her family as is
b. She successfully shields him from them by running away
1. Our past shapes our instinct issues
2. Our past shapes our perspectives of what is happening now and what that means for the future
3. Our future predictions shape the value of what tomorrow brings
4. The result is either: fear or joy
Did you read that? Our definition of tomorrow’s potential could either be full of joy or fear based on our perspectives, but our perspectives were shaped by the experiences of our past. If we can re-interpret the past we could ultimately adjust our perspectives of now and the value of tomorrow could move from fear to joy.
In some cultures, death is something to be celebrated. The passed loved one is now in Nirvana and is in great joy and happiness. The entire community cheers for them and celebrates their incredible crossing. It is a wonderful happening. In other cultures, death is something to be greatly mourned. The incredible sadness is very painful. Tears, black clothing and regret are all present. It is a traumatic event.
Do the two reactions have any affect on the outcome? Does either culture change the actual circumstance? The loved one is dead regardless. How does the completely different perspectives change or alter their feelings? If death is traumatic then why don’t all cultures mourn? How could anyone feel joy over the loss of their loved one?
Philosophy: the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
Philosophy is a very personal value system. All of us has one. We all have a sense of WHY. Even the most scientific/aethiest minded human being can give you a reason for life:
1. Love others
2. Learn and Grow
3. Become more
4. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
5. Develop harmony with nature
Imagine a Godly minded human being’s philosophy potential:
1. Love others as God would
2. Love and serve god by serving others
3. Know God and be good
4. Be as God would have you be
1. What you do will be done to you
2. We are here to love
3. You will repeat this life class over and over until you learn to love YOU
4. What you see is YOU.
5. Find balance in your yearnings
6. Love more, Fear less
Agnostic/No belief or lack of one:
1. Be a good person
2. Be successful in life with principles
3. Life happens, but you should make life happen
4. Love honestly
It doesn’t matter whether you are religious, agnostic, or spiritually minded. (I am not claiming that any belief structure is correct or incorrect) If you have a philosophy then you hold the key to abolishing fear after reinterpretation of past trauma. Abolish addiction, trauma then polish your philosophical belief structure to define the happening of now and re-translate the meaning of tomorrow.
Traci has undergone regression and trauma work with regards to her abuse and the violence of the dog attack. She has been freed of her primary blocks of security and trust but now finds herself in a dark alley confronted by an aggressive large dog. Her belief that everything happens for a reason kicks into gear and she feels that the moment is a keystone and opportunity to breathe and relax and face her fear. The dog relaxes as she does. It loses its fear and lopes off the other way. Traci feels a sense of joy at her new found power and thanks life for giving her the experience.
Traci is in CODA and is working on her dependence on people, places and things. She meets the man of her dreams and he expresses that he has disdain for people with addiction. Traci is a Christian and believes that everything happens for a reason and feels that she has an opportunity to share her thoughts and life history with her new lover with confidence. She feels that if he can’t accept her, regardless of her family’s faults then he isn't the one for her. She pockets her fear and shares that she grew up in an addictive home and it encouraged her to make her own change and get closer to God. She has a deeper sense of belief and compassion and has come to understand that addiction is a mental and spiritual malady and shouldn’t be judged any harsher then cancer. Her new paramour, finds her wisdom and depth powerful and falls more deeply in love with his honest and strong girl friend. He admits to having an alcoholic father that has crafted his belief structure and asks if he can go to a meeting with her.
It is a three pronged approach:
1. Fix Trauma
2. Release Addiction
3. Empower Philosophical Perspective
These tools will help you right size your fear and know how to access principles rather then defects as assets to live life to the fullest. We must be guided through an alternative process for seeing the meaning and value of an experience. Here is another example of false fear:
My family and I were homeless for about a month. We lived in an RV at a camp ground down by Lake. Our 3 little girls went to the local elementary school and loved doing their homework on the picnic table under the stars each night. One day, our 7 year old, Tannis came home with a note from her teacher:
“Mr. and Mrs. Johnson,
I am your daughter Tannis’ 2nd grad teacher Mrs. (blank) and I wanted to write this note and share my sincere sympathy with your situation. Tannis told me privately that you are currently homeless in an RV down by the lake and even though she seems to see it as an adventure, I can only imagine how uncomfortable the experience must be for you both. If there is anything you need, food, blankets or support I am here for you. I literally couldn’t sleep last night thinking about all of you out in the cold.
Feel free to contact me at (blank) if you would like to discuss any options available.
I felt I needed to call her back asap to alleviate her fear. She was literally feeling tragic fear over OUR situation. I called her on the phone that moment and helped her understand. “Hi Mrs. (blank) this is Todd Johnson, Tannis’s Dad. Hey I just wanted to let you know that we got your note and you don’t need to worry about us. Our old house sold so fast that our new home just hadn’t quite got done being built, so we took our very lovely RV (which we LOVE to camp in) and turned the situation into a family vacation. We move into our new home in about 2 weeks, but thank you so much for caring!”
To say the least, my daughter’s teacher was very happy that we were ok and that she had the details a bit confused. But, I then went on to discuss fear with her. Isn’t it interesting that since we know that we are moving into our dream home, the homeless status is a vacation, but if we didn’t know where we were going to be next the exact same circumstance would be a tragedy. Fear is largely connected to our prediction and the meaning of the outcome to any current circumstance.
Once I was fired from a Job. I did NOT enjoy the job, but we needed the money and it was a great paying job. I told my wife that something amazing must be about to happen, since I believe that everything happens for me not to me. 2 weeks after being fired, I got a call from a corporation that needed my help. They told me that they were waiting for me to become available and knew that my company had done executive lay offs. The corporation offered 200% more income, stock and a better position. I LOVED working there and ended up staying with them for several years!
If I had known that they had wanted me earlier I would have been thrilled to leave my old job and move over but I didn’t, and so fear kept me in stasis. But my belief that everything happens for me and not to me helped me stay out of panic after losing my job. This was instrumental in keeping my attitude high.
My Grandson drowned 1 week after his 2nd birthday in our back yard pool. It was one of the most tragic experiences in my life. My fear had developed into a powerful grief. My entire family conducted grief recovery work, I helped as many people as I could to stay out of selfish (self pity) and then decided I needed to assign purpose and value to his life and transition. I incorporated his life story in my public speaking and shared what my family had done to survive and thrive together after his death.
My belief: No life span is more important than another. We are all teachers and students whether we live 2 years or 100 years long. Jaxon was here to teach us about ourselves and learn his own lessons. There is no guarantee of how long you will be here, but we all are here. What we do with the time is more important than the length.
After sharing his story in front of 10s of thousands of individuals at this point, I can’t tell you how many people have come to me to share their appreciation for his message. It helped them in their own life experience and encouraged them to make changes. What was the purpose of Jaxon’s existence? That is up to YOU and your belief. But, for me, he was a teacher and a student and I will spend the rest of my life trying to be better each day for any amount of days that I am given.
Philosophy + reinterpretation of past trauma + freedom from addiction = changed perspective
Perspective and our meaning of the value of the event is how we interpret whether we should be afraid or okay. What are YOUR beliefs? How do you incorporate them into your interpretation of your daily experiences? Have you freed yourself of past trauma? Are you addicted or do you life with addiction anywhere in your world? Does fear drive you? Do you lie? Do you hide? Do you judge you or others?