It’s one of those four letter words we cringe upon hearing and bite our tongue before we allow ourselves to speak about it. Yet, despite our efforts to avoid or mask it, we still are haunted by it, at times maybe even paralyzed by…fear. As a word, fear consists of merely two consonants dancing with two vowels. Yet our minds don’t dismiss fear as any other noun or verb, instead it is given a strong identity and brought to life. It grows to create not just a nightmare in our sleep, but a nightmare that continues on in our waking life.
But how do we avoid this lingering shadow of doubt and discomfort that fear reigns on us? To start, I invite you to think of yourself in a box. A small, tightly enclosed, dark box. Through the four corners where the top flaps are taped shut, you spot a tiny hole that shines a drop of light through. This light, represents hope, a glimpse of optimism that you will be released out of this dark box and into the light again soon. Yet, you find you’ve spent days in this box, weeks, perhaps months or years, that you’ve learned to be oddly comforted by the four walls of fear surrounding you. You now even dare to admit that you feel somewhat safe locked inside here. You have unknowingly made these walls your home. You find that you no longer peek outside the tiny hole to see the light anymore because you fear what is outside your box rather than what is inside. You fear the outside world not even realizing that you are virtually living inside fear. You have found that you’ve traded in your intuition, strength and hope, for what has become uncomfortably comforting. If we think of this box as a metaphor for fear, we can see how disturbingly easy our minds and bodies can be tricked to not only accept fear but to mistakenly follow it’s guidance in our lives.
Fear has its purpose to protect us from any physical, emotional, spiritual or mental danger. Yet, the dark corners of fear have a way of becoming a comfortable hiding place that somewhat masks our ability to face and cope with what it is we are truly afraid of. The darkness becomes a place that creates a consistent feeling we can recognize and count on, even if it is not pleasurable. So we hide in the false comfort of the dark that blinds us, and fear the light, which trustingly will guide us and show us the truth, if only we could open our eyes.
It is difficult to see the reality of our needs when we are in the dark. Whenever you have a decision to make and feel fear begin to slither its way in the door, I urge you to pause and ask yourself, “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” The truth, the light, what we need and want at our deepest roots, is always on the opposite side of fear. I invite you to break out of your box, step out of the dark cold room and step into the light!
written by erin moriah r wafer