At my seminar last weekend, I did an exercise that involved finding what was each person’s most prevalent emotion as a child. Although I was a whole lot of angry, my most prevalent emotion was fear.
My first memories of fear involved loneliness and aloneness. I can remember just being afraid of being on planet Earth. It seemed like a lawless, dangerous and very foreign place to me, even at a very, very young age. One memory that stood out was watching a bigger kid bully a much smaller kid on a playground. I remember feeling shock, confusion and then a lot of fear when I had a deep realization that people could be mean on this planet, if they chose to be. That created a entire imagination full of horrible possibilities in my 4 year old head – and none of them were good.
Throughout my childhood I experienced an extremely disturbing phenomenon. About once a month, when I was small, and then in later years every few months, I would have a very strange, sudden and startling experience. No matter where I was and how many people were around, I would be unexpectedly struck by an extreme and overwhelming sensation of being totally alone. It was accompanied by my ears popping, hearing a whoosh and sometimes a ringing and then the feeling of being alone and separate would invade my peace.
I dreaded this experience. However, as I grew older and began reading scary books about ghosts and things, I became afraid of scary things in the dark. Actually, I think I was always afraid of this, but the presence of my family minimized it. Then, around 14 or 15 years old, I became deathly afraid of real people that might be violent.
In my 20’s I simply became afraid, so afraid, of feeling my fear, which just about encompassed everything at that point. I felt like I lived my life desperately trying to avoid, and desperately trying to end, this debilitating fear.
Although I always had a deep interest in spirituality, I knew that it was quite possible that if I had been content, never or rarely afraid, I may have never pursued my healing in the focused and powerful way that I did. I saw that the fear had done many things for my benefit, and one of them was to create such a discomfort that staying static in that place was never an option.
Fear had so many lessons. Not the least of which was humbleness. It is so hard to be cool when you are shaking!
Emotions are a part of being human. Emotions are part of what we are learning and experiencing here. Each experience of emotion has the potential to create depth, healing, compassion and awareness. The fear of our emotions is far more devastating than the emotions themselves.
Is it possible for you to drop at least your fear and resistance to your emotions?
Is it possible for you to drop your fear of fear?
Can you find ways to use emotions positively?
Can you find ways to allow your emotions to work through you, but not work you over?
This is the biggest challenge of the spiritual path. Finding ways to overcome, learn from and survive the emotions we have, as they shape us.
I love you all. And, if I can ease your pain, even a little, that is my deepest desire.