Image by Annie Spratt

Feeling Without Fear

It has been quite a while since I have added to this blog. In the past several months, I’ve gotten many comments. You, my audience, are inspiring me. Thank you so much for your support!

I am always impressed by life’s timing. Remember the song, “Turn Turn Turn” by the Byrds?

“To everything, turn, turn, turn,
There is a season, turn, turn, turn,
And a time to every purpose under heaven,
A time to be born, a time to die,
A time to plant, a time to reap,
A time to kill, a time to heal,
A time to laugh, a time to weep…

Life always moves forward in its own time and we as humans get to go along for the ride.

We cannot stop Winter, or Spring or Fall. We can only adjust our attitude around it.

What makes us think we can stop other events in our lives? Or, better said, why do we blame ourself or another when something happens that was unforeseen and not wanted?

What if this that just happened is no different than the passing season and it is our emotional response to it that matters most? Not to analyze how this happened or who is to blame, but to accept and find a solution without blame helps to clear the emotion.

In continuing our discussion of “What is in your backpack?,” there is a mechanism in our pack called FREE WILL!

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In Christian philosophy, it simply means God loves you but he/she/it gave you freedom to think and act for yourself, to make your own choices.

Usually within that form of thinking, the God we are talking about resides outside of us and judges our choices. We often think inside ourselves in terms of lessons learned, punishment received, and even our value in he/she/it’s eyes. Think about it!

Assuming that your “backpack” is your physical form, and your personal Spirit, Soul, Awareness (all of these are the same in my mind) is what animates this form, then what we need to ask is who is it in me that is reacting to that event that just happened?

There are simply two clear places we can react from—we can react from fear or we can react from curiosity and trust. (Some might say fear or love.)

It takes a certain amount of emotional maturity to understand that fear always originates from the part of our brain that is designed for our survival. It originates from our physical form and is housed in our backpack.

Curiosity requires emotional maturity and a compassionate detached awareness. One needs to be able to feel the fear and not let it be the defining factor in your reaction. With developed awareness, one can objectify the emotion and be bigger than it and create a proactive response.

Curiosity and awareness allow for the willingness to step back and take a broader look.

Understanding this concept is Step 1 in a 3 step process of getting bigger than and releasing fear. Exercising this concept in real life is usually more challenging than simply understanding it.

Curiosity requires a level of awareness that is detached from all the evidence that fear is the best place to be in your experience.

A curiosity level of awareness requires that you, within your thinking process, step back from a situation and without negatively judging yourself or another approach with an open mind.

Yes, my physical form is reacting in fear—unless you are truly in a life-threatening experience, ask yourself, “What really happened that is threatening me?“

In my personal experience and in my work with my clients, I am clear that what is being threatened is our unwillingness to feel the feelings that this experience is providing.

Have you ever promised yourself, I am never going to let that happen to me again, because I never want to feel (you fill in the blank) anxious, angry, humiliated, defeated, ____________again.

When we make a promise like that to ourselves, it gets stored in our backpack as a belief and a promise. It is now stored in muscle memory.

When we find ourselves defensive and fearful, then blaming, then angry, then guilty, can you see this only causes more pain not less?

We are in the experience of not only having the emotion we don’t want to have, but resisting it all the same time.

Now we have more than one emotion we don’t want to have. AND…how is that working for you?

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We all do this. We all have this emotional chain reaction until or unless we choose to get bigger than the fear of our primitive brain and make friends with and be willing to feel that emotion—anger, sadness, humiliation, defeat—without being afraid of it.

Exercising your awareness capacity to notice you are doing this is Step 2.

Maybe your goal is to get to know yourself as a human. Maybe you just want a better experience in life. If this is true, then being willing to feel the full range of emotion without fear is required.

To feel without judging or fearing what we are feeling is an acquired skill and well worth the learning. For example, It is not that you have anger, it is how you constructively express it so that you can positively move forward is what matters.

The One (Awareness) in us that animates our backpack or physiology has this skill, you need to choose to use your free will, and activate it.

Wishing that emotion wasn’t there, hating ourselves for having it, resisting acknowledging what is there only keeps it in your pack.

Breathing, literally, breathing with the intention of moving the emotion is Step 3. Emotions are biochemical reactions in your body, allowing this singular emotion to move through your body like a wave will over time diminish the experience. Breathing moves the emotional wave and allows it to release if you are willing.

I know it works. I teach it and I live it.

The best part is that the practice of accepting, feeling and moving through the negative undesirable emotions is what allows us the privilege of feeling joy, love, wonder, contentment, to an ever greater degree. I call it playing on the whole keyboard of life.

Have a day filled with emotional acceptance!