Fear: You Can’t Live With It, and You Can’t Live Without It

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Yes, that’s what I said. If we didn’t have fear we would not survive. We’d run into trucks. Fear becomes an obstacle rather than a support when we let it dictate our lives and do not manage it.

What is fear, anyway? One definition of fear is the expectation of pain. When we think we will be hurt, we fear the source of that hurt, whether it is an experience, a person’s actions or an object. Another definition of fear that Spirit gave to me a couple years ago is that fear is just a sign there is a problem to be solved. When we can identify the problem, we can face it and eradicate the fear. When we are problem-solving we are in control of the situation, not a victim of the situation. Oh, yes, fear puts us in the victim role.

Let me give you an example of fear being a problem to be solved. Let’s say we are afraid to drive on the freeway. What is the problem? What are we afraid of? That we will be overstimulated by the movement? That someone will not drive safely around us? That we will miss our exit and get lost? All of this culminates in the fear that we will have an accident and get killed.

Problem 1: If we are overstimulated, we can drive in the slow lane, try to go on the freeway during non-rush-hour times, focus our attention on those ahead of us and not having any more broad a vision than is necessary to drive safely ourselves.

Problem 2: We cannot control the other drivers. Maybe drive during the day or early evening when there will be fewer drivers drinking on the roads. Leave a lot of room between us and the other cars so we don’t get cut off closely. Take a defensive driving course to be more prepared for dangerous drivers’ behavior.

Problem 3: Check out a map to see our exits in advance and notice those in progression to ours. Get in the appropriate lane as early as possible to be ready to exit when the sign shows up. Be proactive with fear and it leaves.

So, to understand fear better, let’s look at where it comes from. It comes from our ego. Oftentimes we think of ego as a personality thing, like “That person has a big ego,” meaning the person is arrogant or thinks they are better than everybody else. That is not the true meaning of ego.

Our ego is a tool of our mind. It is not our mind, just a tool of our mind. Our ego is designed to bring us (our mind) information about things that are a possible threat to our survival. The significant word here is “possible.” As we have life experiences, the ego jots notes about what hurt us or made us uncomfortable in any way. When we have a new experience, it refers to its notes to see if it has anything in common with a hurtful experience of the past. If it finds even the smallest thread of comparison, it will bring us information saying, “Danger, danger, warning, warning, stay away from this!”

Now, this is all well and good, because it is sharing information with us that could be useful to prevent our harm. However, the problem is that somewhere along the line we gave up our choice-making to the ego and no longer discerned for ourselves whether there was true danger or just a problem to be solved. So now the ego is making choices for us. It was not designed to do that.

To manage the ego and use fear as a support, we can just thank the ego for bringing us the information, but make our own decision on how to behave, taking that information into consideration. We are the masters/mistresses of our universe. We can be in charge. We do not need to be in fear. We can be in our Divine Consciousness instead.

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