Experiencing fear is a part of being human. Some of us are scared of being alone, some of us are scared of intimacy; some of us, including me, are scared of spiders. But there is a difference between being afraid of something that is happening, and being afraid of an idea.
“Fear is a negative emotion, unless you’re facing an actual threat and need to fight or flee”- Deepak Chopra
For example: If a giant bear is standing in the hallway of your home, you will need to feel fear in order to act and remove yourself from the situation. In this case fear is useful, and in fact necessary, to keep you safe.
But how often in life do we tell stories in our minds about things that aren’t actually happening? How often are we pre-empting that something bad is going to happen around us, and thereby create fear for ourselves that isn’t actually required? We pull ourselves out of the present moment and put ourselves into fear, paranoia and over analysis, all of which restrict our natural state of joy.
“When you evoke fear you set into motion the physiology of stress that accelerates biological aging. You must let go of this fear in order to reverse aging.” – Deepak Chopra
When we think fearful thoughts we cause our bodies to go into stress. Our heart rate increases, we release adrenaline into our bloodstream and we even change the flow of our blood. Imagine doing this on a regular basis, day after day for your whole life! Fear causes us to exhaust ourselves.
“What would I be afraid of if I didn’t have a past?” – Deepak Chopra
I love this idea. I think the happiest creatures on earth must be goldfish. They forget everything after 3 seconds. And they seem pretty chilled out most of the time. Obviously we can’t erase our past, or the pain that goes with it; but if we can be mindful of the thoughts that arise when we feel scared, we have the opportunity to extinguish unjustified fears before they take control.
Ask yourself- is this fear justified? Am I in any real danger?
If you are, then act, but if you are not, become aware. Gently focus your attention upon the thoughts that are running through your mind.
When we understand that we have control over our thoughts, including the fearful ones, we can decide to dismiss any that do not serve us. We can choose instead to ground ourselves straight into the present moment, and look to understand the truth of what is happening around us.
It is in the present moment that we can experience true freedom and a state of natural, uninterrupted bliss, because we are without fear, worry or anxiety. Our bodies can truly relax, our breath can be deep, and we are able to live life as it is meant to be lived- in love.