Staring fear right in the face. What does that mean to you? Does your pulse race just thinking about it? Can you even begin to peer beneath the surface or is it just too frightening? I used to live like most people –in ignorant bliss. Life was good…or so I thought. I was ignorant to what was beneath the surface. On closer look, I discovered that I was definitely not in bliss. I was sleep-walking through life and getting through by reacting to everyone and everything. I wasn’t in charge, my unconscious fear was. How about you? Are you fully aware, awake and alive? Do you meet life’s challenges and experiences reactively or proactively?
What you fear might be an addiction that you haven’t been able to overcome. Instead of facing that issue, you try only to deal with the symptoms: a stressful job, a chaotic marriage, unfulfilling friendships, financial distress. If your relationships were better, then you would be better at work, and finally get that promotion and raise, thus irradiating your financial distress. Once all this is in place, then it would be the perfect time to really face the difficult and scary work of releasing the addiction.
What you fear might be the mortgage bill that needs to be paid on your upside down house, but you just don’t know where you’re going to get the money? Instead of digging deep inside to get creative, you steep in your frustration until it feels like you’ve hit a wall. What’s beneath the surface? Could there be feelings of unworthiness or entitlement or blame? Do you own the belief that you deserve success? Do you think people should just hand you what you want because of your situation or circumstances?
What you fear might be facing your sister at a family event after not talking to her for years because of the abuse you suffered at her hands when you were younger? Do you hold your position of being right to the point where any mention of her poisons your day? Do you think that in order to protect yourself you must hold this grudge? How is this sabotaging your need to live peacefully and without blame or worry?
None of this is easy or simple. I’m not talking about small stuff here. Small challenges simply cover up what really needs to be faced. The challenges which are most obvious often block our view of the root causes of our fear-fraught lives.
If you knew that going directly to the source of your fear and facing it would free you rather than defeat you, would you be able to do it then? This is what shadow work is all about. You want to embrace the darker side of you by infusing it with the light of your conscious awareness. First you have to know the darkness is there. You find it, face it, light it up and free it!
Here are some ideas for bringing your fears up and healing them:
1. Let’s say your marriage is a constant challenge and you feel unappreciated and your communication is failing.
a. You can blame it on your spouse and wish for them to change.
b. You can keep overworking so you don’t have to deal with your spouse and hope the problem goes away.
c. You can journal. Do stream of consciousness writing to get below the surface. Write for a minimum of fifteen minutes and a maximum of two hours. Keep writing even when you think you’re done because the ‘gold’ is in the surprise underneath what you think you know. The roots. The causes.
2. Your mortgage is due and you are steeped in worry because you don’t have it.
a. You can continue to worry which will add to your stress levels and could harm your health.
b. You can demand people you know give you the money you need.
c. You can look deeper into your fears and surface them to be healed. Are you scared of being homeless? Are you beating yourself up for decisions you’ve made that haven’t panned out? If you forgive yourself for any hurtful past judgments, then new opportunities can and will present themselves. You can’t see them or be prepared to act upon them when you’re stressed out or feeling unworthy. You may still ask for money as a conscious choice but with total non-attachment.
3. You’ll be seeing your sister and you are bracing for the hostile visit.
a. You can keep that hostile mental image in your mind, which will probably come true since you’re thinking it. When they are powerful and frequent enough, thoughts manifest reality.
b. You can say you forgive her and then let her walk all over you or your kids again. You’ll simply go home feeling victimized once again feeling even more angry, isolated and hopeless.
c. You can forgive the judgments you hold against her because you realize they are hurting you. As you live from this place of peacefulness, you can then make a conscious and love-based decision if you will continue to see or speak to her. You’ll be able to set healthy boundaries and disengage from codependent behaviors with her.
I believe your unconscious fears, if not brought into the light, will continue to create harm, discord and disease. If you do journal, use stream of consciousness writing. Just let your thoughts and feelings flow. Don’t self-edit and do be yourself. This is your journal, it’s only for you. This process can lead to tremendous insights for you. It will lead you to a place of forgiveness, freeing you to live a more peaceful, loving and fulfilled life.
Want to reprint this article in your ezine or website? You may, as long as it remains intact and you include this complete blurb with it: Brenda Adelman, MA in Spiritual Psychology, referred to as The Queen of Forgiveness, teaches people who have a lot to offer but are stuck, how to become present, enjoy more success and peace in their relationships and lives by letting go of old and new resentments using the art of forgiveness. For FR*EE tips on how to finally be happy and free visit www.forgivenessandfreedom.com.