By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
Writing again after a nearly month-long slump, which included being sick with a 103-degree fever, I feel a lot of fear.
I fear failure, inadequacy, fatigue, laziness – the list could go on. I fear I’ll just stop writing one day and never pick it back up. This will obviously never happen, but the first step to healing this irrational fear is to shed light on it.
Right now, inadequacy and failure are two of my greatest fears. Although I know they’re irrational and success is assured if I keep going, the fear that my writing is insignificant or that one day I’ll decide it’s not worth it and give up has ironically kept me from writing.
I see now that to suppress this fear will only make it stronger, whereas being open to it will bring healing.
Why Suppress Fear?
Why do we suppress fear? What is it about this constrictive emotion that makes us want to push it under the surface?
I think for most of us, the answer is that we don’t want it to show. We don’t want the world to see us in our realest, rawest, most vulnerable state. We want to maintain the illusion that we have it all figured out. We have everything together, and nobody has any reason to think we don’t.
But inside, we’re sad, fearful, unsure, and unwilling to acknowledge the pain. This eats away at us from within.
We’re usually too prideful to work through it on our own, much less ask loved ones for help. It’s here, however, whether we acknowledge it or not. For most of us, the choice not to acknowledge it is our greatest source of pain.
I’d love for my writing to convince you I have life figured out, but I don’t. The very notion is presumptive, because nobody, not even the greatest scientific or spiritual thinker, has figured out this bizarre thing we call life.
We’re each doing our best to establish truth and create a moderately successful life, but to do so, we need to be comfortable with the mystery. Even those who ask the big questions about life, science, spirituality, and other important topics are basically feeling around in the dark.
If you think the idea that everyone carries inner pain and nobody really knows what’s going on is a little pessimistic or nihilistic, read on to understand why knowing you know nothing can be the key to mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Before we move on to that, let’s spend some more time on this emotional pain most don’t acknowledge.
“The Only Thing We Have to Fear…”
We don’t acknowledge it because, put simply, we’re afraid of the fear involved. Is a certain well-known quote about “the only thing we have to fear” coming to mind? It should be, because it’s relevant, profound, and worth pondering.
Fear is the scariest thing of all, because it’s the source of everything that scares you. It is everything that scares you.
Fear is the troll standing in front of the bridge you want to cross, demanding you pay it first. But this troll doesn’t go away when you pay it. It stays put, demands more, and ensures you never cross. If it has its way, you’ll forget about the bridge altogether. You’ll stop trying and stop caring.
You’ll be content to sit in front of the TV in your spare time because it’s comfortable and requires no effort toward personal change. The troll will return the moment you attempt such a change, ready to bombard you and hopefully lull you back to the couch.
We suppress fear because it’s overwhelming, but in doing so, we increase its power and control.
Acknowledge Fear, Live Anyway
So, how can we get past this seemingly insurmountable wall of fear? The first step is to acknowledge it and the desire to suppress it. The next step is more difficult: live the way you want regardless of how much it scares you.
You’ll have to do this while still dealing with the fear that directly inhibits you. Let me be clear, however: this does not mean you should suppress fear when it surfaces at inconvenient times. It means you should be open enough to heal it while refusing to let it take you off your path.
It’ll be difficult, but how many worthwhile achievements are ever easy? It’s a doable yet difficult and worthwhile challenge for he who desires genuine mental, emotional, or spiritual growth.
I’ve learned that to be open to love, you must accept fear. Shining the light of love onto fear, hesitation, and uncertainty will help you see them in a new light and subsequently heal them. In this light, they seem like little more than obstacles on the path of personal growth.
(Continued in part 2 tomorrow)
About the author:
I’m a twenty-something writer & blogger with an interest in spirituality, revolution, music and the transformative creative force known as love. I run Openhearted Rebel, a daily news blog dedicated to igniting a revolution of love by raising social and spiritual awareness.
I also have a personal blog, Wes Annac’s Personal Blog, in which I share writings related to spiritual philosophy, creativity, heart consciousness and revolution (among other topics).
I write from the heart and try to share informative and enlightening reading material with the rest of the conscious community. When I’m not writing or exploring nature, I’m usually making music.
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