Fear, the word itself can echo so many emotions that may be visible in the surface or stay hidden in our subconscious mind. It’s a dark and unknown zone where we hesitate to put our foot into. As a behavioral and life skills trainer, it has provided me the opportunity to look closely the unique spectrum in which the fear resides in humans. The phenomenon of fear can be as simple to understand as the ‘fear of needles’ to the more complicated ones such as the fear of closed spaces also known as ‘claustrophobia’, and yet there are other forms of fear which comes under the bracket of social phobia, now known as Social Anxiety Disorder. I wanted to understand what kind of fears do people suffer from, therefore, I asked my friends in one of the popular social media platform to share one of their fears; I got some interesting insights, few of them are- a single mother was anxious that she would lose her only son to the worldly possession when the child grows up, another respondent was fearful of not being able to complete the professional course he has enrolled into, yet another respondent replied that she was afraid of losing the man in her life. The different insights helped me garner further perspective in how fear present itself in different facet in one’s life according to their relative truth.
The wordweb dictionary defines fear as “An emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger”, if you re-read the definition it gets more interesting as it involves ‘anticipating’ or expecting the outcome of a particular situation you might be in. Let’s start from the individual point of view and understand how he may see the world from a fearful state of mind. If I have to regress my thoughts some time back to the point where I started writing this piece my mind was clouded with doubts, I even thought of giving up this piece of write up, reason being that I read through the blogs of my fellow writers and thought that it was marvelous, but my mind didn’t stop there, it started comparing with their quality of write up with that of mine and surely I felt I had pathetic sense of writing. It took me a while to contemplate and looking at things from a vantage point where I could sense back things as they are, the answers I got was divine and its true for all with no relativity involved; maybe my writing is not as good as my fellow bloggers, but, yes, I am doing just fine wherever I have reached and I am writing on the topics which might inspire someone. There was a sense of calmness after that, I could see that there was no reason for any comparisons and I am doing just fine. The fear that someone is greater and better than you is deep-rooted from the self-doubt, and once your doubt is gone your fear is gone.
Fear is paradoxical because it doesn’t exist because when we confront the situation (which is in the form of fear) it either vanishes or gives you weapons (solutions) on how to face them, however, fear itself is imaginary. What about fear of death? We have a mortal body, and sooner or later it shall be lessened to ashes, however death is only a medium or a passage where the mind and soul travels to its next destination. People who have gone through near death experience (NDE) might have more than a vague idea about what exactly went through when they approached ‘death’. Many experience reveals no particular pain and suffering and if there’s any they don’t remember. However, what happens when you confront and stand face to face against your death; there can be only two possibilities- either you die, where the fear of death is no more, because you have just met it, or perhaps you now know how to better deal with the circumstances that can lead you to your death. We might be extinct in human form but we can never cease to exist.
Some phase of your life may be lonely, you might hanker for acceptance but you may not find any. Your ‘false ego’ will lead you to think that you don’t belong anywhere, and you start to think that you are not being loved, or you may lose your most precious possession in the form of friends and loved ones someday. If you have observed carefully then you must have noticed that the source of happiness in all these are all lying outside ‘you’. The ego seeks to control, it seeks acceptance, and it seeks love not knowing that both these elements are inside you. You cannot seek it outside, you shall probably find your own reflection outside and that is only possible when you are ready, so there’s no fear, and therefore, there is no fear of separation, there’s just the ‘ego’ reducing and gradually shrinking.
In my formative years I was extremely shy, later it developed into a mild agoraphobia where I would get really anxious about going outside, and being present in a social gathering. Even now I would be conscious while eating and being stared at in the public. However, when I confronted my fears of social anxiety it was once again proved that fear is actually non-existent, it’s like a ghost that we may feel but can never see, and take varied forms through powerful human imagination. Although I am an introvert, I enjoy my work as a behavioral trainer and motivational speaker, and I like to speak to a sizeable audience. Someday, I wish to speak in front of a packed auditorium.
Fear and the world order
The very existence of fear in the form of insecurity is the reason for wars and unrest in this planet. Mass murder, genocide, taking control of the resources are all stemming from the ugly variants of the same. Religious principles are not based on the foundations of spirituality but on the foundations of fear, i.e. the fear of insecurity, trying to propagate the theory of ‘One God’ but will condemn other’s belief. The deep rooted psyche goes out to believe the ‘other’ non-believers in their Gods or ways as enemies, and propagandas are laid out to annihilate them. As we move forward in the cycle of life, the sphere of fear will widen, however, with divine faith in oneself, by walking in the path of self-discovery one can definitely revive this process, as they say, one needs to look within, search for the calmness, hear the silence. Then, the ‘self’ will reveal the things as they are, it shall be bereft of any judgments, when that happens no fear can exist. At this point there comes no one but Viktor Frankl in my mind who survived the Nazi concentration camp to tell the tale of exemplary human endowment of love. Even after losing his wife and his entire family to the gas chambers of the camps he survived this ordeal of extreme nature. After losing everyone who was close to him, he contemplated why he was even alive, and wished for death for himself. He almost lost all his will to live, but there was a divine intervention in his heart and he realized that no one can take away his inner freedom. The Nazis can strip him off his clothes, cripple him or cut off his tongue, and send him to the gas ovens but they cannot take away his freedom, no one can snatch the love that is inside him. He came face to face with his death only to realize that no one can take his ‘life’ away from him but him.
People spend most of their lives in fear, you are fearful of dying, fearful of your circumstances, you fear that you may never be able to achieve what you aspire to do, but you are ready to live a life of mediocrity. You want to see what’s in store but are reluctant to turn the pages of life, and most importantly you are fearful of living. When we live in our true self, no fear can ever touch us, no doubt can surpass us because when one lives and leads with an enlightened self, full of love that’s when one starts to live fearlessly.
“Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.”