Fear is a way of life…What? I hear you saying. Stop for just a minute and read that one again. Do you believe that statement? Well, if you are on the fence or thinking “umm no, I don’t believe that at all” let’s carve out five minutes and let’s explore this four-letter word, find out if it in fact is a way of life, who taught us this so-called “way of life” and most importantly what to do now.
Let’s start by exploring where the heck fear comes from. I mean, saber-toothed tigers don't exist anymore and a good bet if you're reading this is that your basic physical needs are being met, for example food, water, clothing, air and shelter.
Now I said physical needs are being met. I did not share that I would bet your emotional, mental or spiritual needs are being met or even flourishing. I would not make that bet since I have worked with so many people who are living out a fear-based life even though many of the fear-based thoughts are just fictional elements appearing real, causing undue fear, stress and anxiety to be their way of life.
Let me share with you a story about where fear comes from. Not to spoil the ending, it comes from other people who are our domesticators and our teachers, no different than a subject we learn in school or a cultural experience we learn inside our home. The people who raise us teach us this FEAR-based life. It doesn’t just happen as an adult. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It stems from childhood and even before that….
I vividly recall being a blissfully unaware child, smiling and laughing like you would imagine a cute little five-year-old child to be acting like. Then just like a light switch would be turned off, I was reminded that I wasn’t that happy little girl after all. My reminder came in the form of a blow to my body while I was violently pushed through a door because my father (I call The Domesticator), didn’t like the short haircut my mom gave me.
He thought she and I SHOULD HAVE known better.
As I was thrust into this experience of fear, the thoughts came barreling in. “What did I do? How could I make him happy? What did I do wrong? Would he hit me again?, What about mom, would she GET IT because of another decision she made for me?”
I think somewhere around that moment I decided I would make all my own decisions so I didn’t have to watch others “CATCH IT” because of anything I ever did. I would be sent to my room each day to think about what I did wrong, just waiting for the door to swing open and demands be made by him about one thing or another.
I’ll spare you the drama that unfolded in my home over the next fifteen years or so… I’ll leave it to your imagination. I think the one advantage of growing up like this is that I KNEW it was coming, I knew about FEAR at a very early age. I am not saying I wish that experience on anyone, just that I have looked my entire life to find the good inside of every challenge I was handed - including this one.
I have been working with so many people who have experienced fear or trauma in one form or another as a child. Some would argue that fear can be felt from others as early as being inside the womb, being felt (which is a form of communication and a way of teaching) - can you believe that? I can. I experienced fear enviro for sure.
Now others have shared their childhood trauma and fear-based thinking around so many different things like watching their parents fight, being put in the middle of a major stressful situation, parents divorcing, sexual violation, financial challenges, parents that drink or do drugs, fires, fear of flying on planes, boats or in my wife’s case watching her mom be completely consumed with fear over making a phone call.
We learn fear just like we learn love or any subject in school. We are surrounded by fear in school as well, homework feelings of unworthiness, information seems to come easily to others, what if I fail, what if what if what if what if until we create and fuel our “Inner Mobster” and create our fear-based way of life.
So what can be done about this learned way of life?
We can transform it.
We all learn FEAR, we are different on how we have experienced FEAR and more importantly how we process and transform FEAR into a five-letter word called FAITH. Fear can be transformed - just like Energy. Energy cannot ever be created or destroyed- it cannot be deleted.
So we work with it. We transform it into something else. So if you have old FEAR-based thinking playing out in your life now or if you are teaching your specific FEAR-based thoughts, actions and behaviors to the next generation, STOP right now!
Make a pledge to stop spreading Fear as a learned “way of life”. We have the choice to teach FAITH, LOVE, PEACE & EASE instead. I am not saying that this is easy, I am saying that it is possible and totally life-altering to have FAITH as a way of life instead.
Reach out to me to find out how we can change the world together!