by Robert Wilkinson
Well, the first thing is not to yield to it, or give it any more reality than it is due, which is none. Fear is a natural response, but also a learned one. There are very few things we natually fear, but there are many things we've learned to fear, like being alone, being with someone, being unloved, not making enough money to live and thrive, being fired, evicted, or cut loose without resources. In all of these cases, action speaks louder than feeling fear! There are always things we can do to transmute fear, but we must act on them if we are to have any sense that our practice of overcoming fear is more real than the fear we feel.
I have found that attitude is everything in overcoming fear, since that is the only thing we ultimately have control over. In my own life, from the time I was a child (and had many things to fear, both real and imaginary!) I have consistently found that COURAGE is the primary mental quality to hold on to while facing fear. Having courage makes us feel stronger and more capable of handling whatever we confront. As we face our fears, they cease to trouble us, since by seeing how they have no power over our true Self, we dispel the illusion that they are real at all.
When we confront our fear, we enter into a dark realm we've tried to avoid since infancy. Fear is one of the four primal emotions, as was made clear in How to Overcome Fear. By all means, when you're done here read the entire article, but for now, here are a few pieces about the subject:
The emotion which causes the most needless suffering is Fear. Together with Sensuousness, animal Sex Desire, and the most subtle of all, Vanity, these are the basic elements of the emotional nature. You cannot conceive of any emotion that has not its origin in one or more of these four basic ones....
Fear is the cause of most anger, most jealousy, most murder, failure, theft, doubt, discouragement, despondency - and many of the lesser inharmonious conditions. Analyze any one of these states of mind and you will find that fear is the father of it. Eliminate fear and you have destroyed the root, or basis, for many of the emotions which lead men astray. Begin your fight directly upon fear, and not the many phases of it, and a tremendous amount of force will be saved, for it must be conquered before very much will be accomplished in life. You will remember that you were told that the mind is magnetic, and draws to itself whatever it frequently thinks about. When you are constantly fearing something, you are drawing toward you the very thing you fear, and the reason that humanity has not been swept from this planet long ago is because it has shifted its fears from one object to another so often that it has never held to one thing long enough to destroy itself.
To accomplish rapidly the destruction of this great enemy, it is well to begin by controlling some of its grosser forms, such as physical cowardice. Great numbers of men and women are inwardly the most wretched cowards and yet suppress the external expression of their fears because they are ashamed of them. Here is where the fear of public opinion is greater than the fear of something else, and the emotion is not conquered, but shifted. Try to conquer your cowardice, because it is an enemy to you and will retard your development...
In facing inner qualities that undermine our self confidence, self reliance, and ability to grip life on our terms and live it to the fullest, we are required to develop a measure of self-control. This is not the same as repression, but rather knowing which part of us is actually in command of the other parts of us, and being willing to exercise our Divine Will and Intelligence to direct our lower mind and feelings into productive rather than non-productive tendencies.
Our desire mind will run us all over the map through its attachments, aversions, delusions, and tendency to fall into despondency due to its inherent nature. With awareness and knowledge, we can fairly quickly put our Higher Self in the Captain's chair, and put our lower self into its suitable position as servant to our Higher Self. We find a few hints how to do this naturally in Emotions, Self-Control, and Correcting Habits where we read:
First, you should realize that all uncontrolled emotions are the result of ignorance or undevelopment, and this knowledge will rob them of their power over you. You will know that you are at the emotional point in your evolution, which is an indication of ignorance of your own power of self-control. Then you will begin to see the need of development, and will set about correcting the fault. A child fears the dark because he does not know its nature of its cause. If he is carried into a dark room and the light is turned on, and he sees nothing there to injure him, his fear is immediately dissipated. His fear was banished when his ignorance was destroyed.
If you can show a person that there is no "bad luck" except that which he has created, and that the "evil" he fears he builds for himself, immediately you destroy the power he has given to these conceptions.... So it is by enlightenment that any or all of our emotions are controlled or eliminated from us.
The second great aid is this: if we understand what habit is, and know the law which underlies it, and if we know that much of our yielding to our lower natures and lack of self-control is a matter of habit, we shall be able to destroy habits much sooner than if we do not understand them. There are two elements which enter into the formation of a habit. The first is what might be called the law of periodicity, or periodical return, and the second is the initial impulse. The law of periodicity causes a thought or an act to be repeated within a determinate time. The intensity with which the thought was projected, or the act performed, determines the time in which the tendency to repeat itself will manifest.
Please revisit the second article in its entirety as well, since there are gems of wisdom to be practiced as we move from darkness to light, the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. Regardless of what presents itself to your five senses and your mind, your feelings and your physical self, you are greater than that, and have the Divine Power to reorient away from fear into your ability to respond to that which promises truth, goodness and beauty.
Drop your fear. It's a useless response. Love yourself, and have the courage to express that Loving Wisdom that is yours to offer yourself and your world. You have nothing to lose but your fear.
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson