"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie
The message of Easter as I understand it is one of surrender -- surrender into that greater human spirit that we are: the love, compassion, and strength in us that endures beyond our hardships and difficulties. Within this message, I find a stillness and peace that is sustaining and nurturing.
Many of us have been challenged by losses of income, savings, jobs, homes. Others fear the possibility of such losses. Media reports tend to fuel our fears.
Have you heard the expression: fear is the energy for a new situation? What if fear were a door that opened you to more of your inner spirit; your wisdom, understanding and enthusiasm?
1. What are your fears?
A few weeks ago, I read this excellent article by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks called A New Way To Deal With Financial Fears.
I have experienced fears relating to money, even when I am not short of it. Then I got to thinking: what are my other fears? I drew up a list of them: fear of losing approval; fear of success; fear of failure; fear of being rejected; fear of saying the "wrong" thing; fear of not being good enough etc
In the article, I was reminded that typical responses to fear are: fight, flight, faint or freeze. I have been more of a fainter or freezer, such that I never really looked my fears in the face. To do so has been liberating.
"Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light." - Dorothy Thompson
2. Observe, look at and listen to your fears
Fear is a feeling response now to something that may, or may not, happen in future. When fear shows up, breathe deeply into it so that your body relaxes. By doing this, you are in touch with your energy in the present moment - no good or bad about it. Just energy.
Actually, energy feels really good.
"Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom." - Marilyn Ferguson
3. Connect with your heart
As you embrace your fear with love, you can move beyond it into fresh insight. In your heart is the courage to know clearly a way forward.
Bless your fear. It has the seed of goodness within it.
"Fear makes us feel our humanity." - Benjamin Disraeli
4. Shift your attitude - look for the treasure
How is your fear serving you? How is it useful for you? Could your fear be a blessing that helps you to steer your life on a new and more rewarding course?
Be open and inspired towards the solution to that which you fear.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - Marianne Williamson
5. What is your opportunity? Take action
Last week, I read an inspiring article by Donald Trump, titled Confronting Your Fears, in which he talks about regarding fear as "concern". Instead of the four responses mentioned above, you can address yourself to the issue and start taking action.
The energy of your fear can be re-directed. Once you start moving and doing something constructive, you will feel energized - and a whole lot better.
"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." - Rosa Parks
6. Find at least one witness
A witness is someone who will listen to you without trying to fix you: a person who is empathetic, unconditional and can reflect back to you what they observe. Talking through your fear with a good friend can give you a fresh perspective.
"Perhaps the most important thing we can undertake toward the reduction of fear is to make it easier for people to accept themselves, to like themselves." - Bonaro W. Overstreet
7. Be curious and open
When you feel fear, become like a child: curious and open to an adventure of discovering the good it may hold for you.
"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship." - Louisa May Alcott
8. Build faith
In my experience, faith is built through a combination of the attitude of gratitude (counting the blessings I have now) and taking action towards a positive outcome.
With faith, seeming miracles take place.
"Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death." - Author Unknown
Please know that the love within you is much greater than any issues you may be facing, real or imagined. The power of love in you can produce exceptional outcomes, even in the most difficult of times.
"Fear is the needle that pierces us that it may carry a thread to bind us to heaven." - James Hastings
How are you dealing with your fears? Have you recently found courage within you and abilities that you did not know you had? What have you learned about your capacity for loving?