Fear Equals Freedom
By Egan Sanders
So often, as we grow spiritually, we still encounter fear in various forms. It may be a belief, an old, repetitive pattern, or just the fear of the unknown in the journey of expanding our awareness beyond previous boundaries. Fear of illness, fear of the future, fear of not getting what we want - or in getting what we want; does fear ever end? What do we do with fear? We can ignore it, avoid it, deny it, fight it, or be controlled by it. If we could just get rid of fear, then we would be free – right? Maybe not.
In the book, “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,” by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, a simple environmental concept is included that is revolutionary. It is revolutionary in that while it is meant to be ecologically beneficial, it can also be applied to our spiritual lives. The concept is “Waste Equals Food”. This principle views all products as nutrients. Products are designed in such a way that after their useful life they can provide nourishment for something new. They either safely re-enter the environment or are used again as another product. Nothing is ever wasted.
If waste equals food, then waste is not actually a bad thing or a problem. Waste can actually be a good thing that can be put back into the cycle of life. What if the same thing could be done with fear? What if “Fear Equals Freedom” was a concept we could apply in our lives? Fear drains us if ignored and most of it ends up manifesting as physical illness, emotional despair, mental constriction, and/or spiritual disconnection. If we can re-use fear for growth, awareness, empowerment, and liberation by choosing to work with it, then fear can be converted into a means for achieving freedom.
As we accept that we create our lives, our realities, and our creations, is resisting fear a real solution? Perhaps a new approach can be integrating fear - working with it. Here are some ways to make fear equal freedom.
To apply the fear equals freedom concept you must first get into the habit of observation. Ignoring fear or attempting to run from it just tightens its grip. Action usually lessens fear, and the act of mindfully observing what you are afraid of begins the process of investigation. What can be most helpful is to simply write down what your fears are. It is best to do this when you are feeling fear most intensely. Set the intention to allow yourself to fully experience your fearful feelings and thoughts and record them. Write down whole sentences or fragments of phrases – whatever comes up. It may be a past memory that triggers you or a future concern. The goal is to simply get it all on paper and bring it up to your conscious awareness.
All feelings and thoughts are rooted in belief. If your heart races seconds after hearing a police siren, or you experience total well-being while watching a pleasant sunset, both are reflecting a belief. The police siren may activate fears and beliefs of danger, or perhaps getting a speeding ticket and not having the money to pay for it. Nobody wants to have points added onto their driving record and to pay a higher auto insurance rate! In contrast, the sunset can tap into beliefs about the beauty and harmony of the natural world, the colors connecting you to inspiring or peaceful feelings and thoughts. When you observe that you are feeling fear, ask yourself why you are feeling it. What belief is creating the experience of fear? As you listen and watch what comes to mind, you may be surprised by what the answer is.
A bucket has a bottom and so do fearful thoughts and feelings. If you can develop and an attitude of enthusiasm when you feel fear, two things will generally happen. One, when fearful thoughts or feelings come up you will be somewhat more detached as you observe them. It still may not feel that great, but the role of being the observer empowers you. Two, you will move through the fears more quickly and be able to get down to the root issues. This is a good incentive and cause for celebration to actively engage your fears because a new meaning can be assigned to the fear. You do not need to resist fear. Enthusiasm about the process of discovery can turn fear into freedom. When you are conscious of the beliefs generating the fear you can then choose new beliefs that empower you. New beliefs will create new actions and a new reality.
Emotional resolution comes from living your human experience and using every piece of it for something constructive, productive, and positive. The most negative things can lead to the deepest realizations. Beneath the root of fear is a new foundation of well-being. Resolution is not a one-step action; it is a process of working with your thoughts and feelings, examining your beliefs, and adopting new actions. We all want peace and harmony and if you can turn fear into freedom your path of joy will be smoother. Resolution does not mean the absence of all fear. Resolution means that you resolve to face your fears and handle them.
© Egan Sanders, 2007
Want to read more articles about practical spiritual techniques that create joy?
Sign up for my Path of Joy newsletter and receive my free 15 page report, “25 Ways to Clear Blockages to Well-Being” by filling in your name and email at the top right corner of this page.