This month I will be focusing on the topic of fear. With so many positive emotions to focus on, why would I focus on fear? Honestly, I have endless reasons to continue avoiding this topic, as I have done for countless years. Having experienced many childhood traumas and being ruled by it from a very young age, fear has been a recurring team in my life. At times, I was completely paralyzed by it.
Unable to trust and to believe in me, others, or the Universe, I felt completely stuck. At such times, I was unaware that it was fear that was ruling my life and preventing me from being able to trust, love, and follow my heart. Being comfortable and secure was more attractive and appealing than facing my fears. I lost many precious years of my early adulthood endlessly working, worrying, and planning for retirement. That sounds funny and tragic to me now. However, it was not an easy job to avoid it from coming up, creeping in, and ruining my life and relationships. It kept re-appearing and building up, again and again, until enough was finally enough and remaining the same was more painful than facing my fears. At this point, the breakdown/breakthrough was imminent and completely unavoidable.
In all honesty, this process has happened at list 3 or 4 times in my life, and I am in full awareness and acceptance that it might happen again. I came to terms with the fact that it may be a cyclical process of life, a process of remembering and forgetting. Remembering who we truly are beyond the illusions, the identifications, the ego, the fears, and trusting we are much more than all that. Looking back, I am grateful for such breakthroughs and the opportunities I had to look my fears straight in the eye. I am glad I stepped forward even though I felt as if I was going to die, was trembling and shaking to my core, and felt sick to my stomach. I came through the other side not only alive but stronger, wiser, and more willing to risk, to trust, and to love.
I still feel afraid, cough up, paralyzed, and fearful. That hasn’t changed. What has shifted is how I deal with it. Now, I can recognize what is truly happening, and I am capable of eventually facing it and conquering it. Now I jump at any opportunity, even though my knees are shaking, my stomach is turning, and I can smell death, to face straight on to my fears. Yoga has been crucial in this process of conquering fears. It has given me the vehicle, tools, and knowledge to do so. It has made it possible to transform my fear into pure love, curiosity, and celebration. It has shown me that fear is not the enemy; It has its intelligence and serves a valuable purpose. It was and is necessary for our survival as a species. However, it is not the end; it is only the beginning. It is a crucial part of the process of true liberation and freedom. In all mystical traditions and spiritual paths, the process of facing and conquering fears is part of attaining spiritual awakening and learning to be a peaceful warrior.