Banging on about fear

At the risk of boring everyone by going over the same thing again and again, I am going to talk about fear.

We have conned ourselves.

We have conned ourselves into believing that fear is a normal state. I don’t believe it is. Actually, let me re-phrase that. Fear IS now a normal state to live in, because we have accepted it as such, but it doesn’t need to be.

You know, stress and anxiety are forms of fear. Their roots are based in fear. Had you ever thought about that? I didn’t realise it for a long time. It wasn’t until I went through my “Dark Night of the Soul” and the fear got so intense it almost paralyzed me that I began to really investigate and unpick my fear. I had to, because I couldn’t live like that anymore. It ended up being the greatest gift.

There are several cute acronyms about fear that are frequently bandied around. One of the most common I want to mention is “FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real”. Very cute, but in my opinion, of no value whatsoever (apologies to whoever thought it up). If you are feeling fear, someone telling you that it’s “false evidence appearing real”, isn’t helpful. At all. I mean seriously, it’s very real to you right? You can feel it. Let’s be real – It is going to take re-programming a belief system to get you out of fear, and someone telling you that what is causing the fear isn’t real isn’t going to achieve that.

Fear is a massive problem for humanity.

If we want to improve the way that humanity lives on a global scale, the level of collective human consciousness needs to rise above the level of fear. Into Love. When fear leaves, love enters, because love is what we are, at our essence, underneath the fear. Let’s start a revolution -stop the fear, feel the love. (A revamp of the 1960’s “make Love, not War”).

Fear is the pandemic we need to address on a global scale once this insignificant (in comparison) Covid-19 pandemic is dealt with. Fear contributes to more deaths annually than Covid-19 has caused, it just isn’t so obvious and death isn’t so quick. On a collective level, covid-19 is the focus at the moment; on an individual level however, now is a good time to address fear – many more of us than usual have TIME. No excuse!.

(If you are more than fleetingly interested in the subject of fear in relation to covid-19, then check out

If you feel called to be an activist for global change then follow that call…. for the rest of us, the best thing we can do to create a better world is to work on our own fear. Yes really.

Lets start by defining fear. What is fear?

A general definition is “An unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined”.

Note that the definition says Perception of danger, real or imagined. One of my favourite spiritual teachers -Byron Katie uses the analogy of confusing a rope for a snake. When we realise it is a rope not a snake, we can laugh and relax. We have no fear. The problem is, our mind sees snakes everywhere, we need to begin to see ropes instead. That is how we get out of fear. It is all about perception and awareness.

Lets look at several different forms of fear:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Panic
  • Phobias
  • Anger

These all have their basis in fear.

How many of us have experienced or are experiencing anxiety or stress? Most of us. Have you really, deeply understood that it is fear? Pause and think about that for a moment. Yes, stress is a fear response. Anxiety is a fear response.

When I was about 35 years old, I started a Certificate in Mental Health, and in one of the classes, a condition called Generalised Anxiety Disorder was discussed – In a moment of sudden clarity, I realised I had all the symptoms. I had no idea there was a name for it, let alone a solution. I thought it was just the way I was, because I had been like that for as long as I could remember. It had become normal for me. I don’t think I am the exception to the rule. In fact, I know I am not. Statistics show otherwise. The problem with anxiety and stress is that these are the two most toxic forms of fear. Why? Because they tend to be chronic… they are ongoing, and we just get used to it. But it has an increasingly negative effect on our health.

Fear is a primitive survival instinct.

Way back, when the human body evolved, or when we were created, whichever belief you subscribe to, life was much simpler. When we were confronted by (an analogy Bruce Lipton uses) a sabre toothed tiger, in an instant, our sub-conscious mind perceived a threat and triggered fear – a chemical response initiated by the brain to activate the body to fight or flight. As a result of that trigger, chemicals flooded our body, creating physiological changes such as:

  • constricting some blood vessels (namely in the digestive system) to redirect blood flow to the legs and arms ready for fight or flight
  • Suppressing the immune system (not necessary while running or fighting)
  • increasing blood pressure,
  • release of adrenaline providing extra burst of energy
  • increasing heart rate
  • heightened alertness
  • Muscles tighten
  • affects insulin needs
  • alters acid concentration in the stomach

(There are many more changes, however these will suffice for now.)

Clearly, it isn’t healthy for any of the above reactions to continue for long periods of time. The reason anxiety and stress are so toxic, is because the body stays in fight/flight mode, and as a result, it is constantly flooded with chemicals and hormones that are only meant to be short-term. The reason you feel that weird sensation in your stomach when you feel fear? It is the blood vessels constricting in your digestive system. The body is perfectly designed to be in fight/light for short periods, but not long ones.

The fight/flight response works beautifully when confronted by physical danger that quickly passes. It fulfills its purpose well. However, these days this response is generally triggered by different kinds of perceived threat – and different fears – that don’t pass quickly.

  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Fear of not being smart, pretty, slim enough
  • Fear of not being successful
  • Fear of displeasing people
  • Fear of not being able to complete work on time
  • Fear of making a mistake
  • Fear of death
  • Fear of not being in control
  • Fear of not getting everything done
  • Fear of being judged
  • Fear of not being love-able
  • Fear of not coping
  • Fear of not having enough money
  • Fear of emotion
  • Fear of something bad happening
  • Fear
  • Fear
  • Fear ad infinitum

We Need To Stop. Right Now.

We need to stop and take a good look at the values we want to live by, and what is really important to us as individuals. Not the values or the definitions of success that a sick society conditions us to believe in (the biggest cult of all is our culture – it brainwashes us to think a certain way, and although we are all individuals within it, we are still programmed by our culture more than we imagine). As a result of our conditioning, most of us are seriously afraid underneath that we aren’t enough (meaning worthy of love), and that we haven’t got enough, that maybe there isn’t enough to go around (hence the rush on toilet paper) and these are the fears that sub-consciously drive us.

Why is this?

Because we are programmed all throughout our lives to believe this. It starts with our parents (they can’t teach us what they don’t know, and they just teach us the programs they have running – we can’t blame them, most of them do their best, just like we have done our best bringing up our children). When we are little, we receive incessant subtle and not so subtle hints that we should be better. We realise very quickly that if we want to be loved we need to do/be certain things. We go to school and on top of the expectations at home, we discover more is expected of us. We learn that winners are grinners and we are supposed to be good at everything; maths, writing, spelling, sitting still, listening, suppressing our nature exuberance, sports. It we aren’t good at something we are shamed. We are graded and compared with others. And it only gets worse, after a while we realise we need to have the right clothes, the right appliances – ipad, phone etc, the right shoes. Our teeth need to be straight, we shouldn’t smell, our body (particularly if we are female) should be a certain size. We become fixated on the bits that aren’t up to scratch instead of being thankful that our body actually works.

Then we graduate from school. We can’t wait to be grown up and out of school. But it gets worse. The pressure to be and to have gets worse. Now we need to get a job – a good job, we need the house and the cars and the phone (the latest), we need overseas holidays we need fancy food, we need wifi and bigger TV’s, appliances and more and more and more and more…..

We are bombarded with visual advertisements that undermine our sense of worthiness and our sub-conscious fear even further. If you have this or that you will be more beautiful, skinnier, happier, more popular, more successful. Beautiful, photo-shopped, air-brushed models lure us to shipwreck on the rocks of our “not good enough-ness”. The Media pedals fear, inundating us with the horrors human beings inflict on each other from all over the world as well as locally. Reporting “bad” news with breathless excitement. News announcers – really? is this what you were born to do…. promote fear? Do you really realise what you are doing in the name of a “good” story?

And then we have to juggle… we have to work full-time to pay the mortgage and the loans while we are trying to bring up our children, and do the housework and cook. Keep on moving, can’t afford to stop. Go, go, go, quick, quick, quick, busy, busy, busy….. no time to think, just blindly follow. (Do you know what you are following? Do you really know where you are going? Is accumulation of stuff your ultimate purpose? Is it really worth devoting most of your time to?).

Now we need the alcohol, the drugs, (legal and illegal),the cigarettes, the mindless TV shows and movies, computer games, facebook, instagram, twitter, under-eating, over-eating, over-exercising, sex addictions, shopping addictions, caffeine addictions to get us through the day because we are over-stimulated and over-stressed and fearful.

We have been trained to be consumers and blindly worship the gods of materialism. Striving, ever striving, thinking that somehow happiness, peace, love, joy will be our reward. We’ve got it “arse about” folks. We are putting our faith in the wrong gods.

And we call this living?

Then something collapses. It might be our mind, it might be our body that just can’t take it any longer.

It’s too much. It isn’t natural the way we are living, and it certainly isn’t healthy. Humanity is sick and getting sicker by the year. Sicker mentally and emotionally (depression, suicide, mental illnesses, addictions all on the rise), sicker physically (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, all lifestyle diseases on the rise), sicker spiritually (unconscious of a connection with a higher power).

We are letting fear rule.

Stress and anxiety are an indicator that something is wrong – we need to address it instead of ignoring it. Long-term stress and anxiety weakens our bodies, but even worse, in the meantime, it kills our capacity to live fully and deeply this precious life.

Medication is a temporary bandaid, not a solution. Addictions are ultimately self destructive. If we can’t change the external circumstances, we need to change the internal environment – our mind. Our perceptions. We need to start seeing ropes everywhere, not snakes.

We shouldn’t just accept fear as normal. It doesn’t need to be. We all have the capacity to live happy, peaceful lives. The only thing preventing us from doing so is our mind.

I ask you…. Please. Stop right now, and make a commitment. Make a commitment to eradicate fear in all its forms out of your life. Believe it or not, we live in a universe that is designed to support us. If you make a conscious choice to recognise fear as the enemy, and choose to live fearlessly, live true to your own inner truths, then life will bring you every experience you need to assist you in achieving this.

We need to make a commitment to being open. By this I mean being open to change. Open to understanding how we can grow and benefit from every experience. Open to perceiving differently. Open to questioning the status quo. Open to seeking peace and happiness above everything.

Within all of us, (as Dr Melissa Rankin calls it), is an Inner Pilot Light. When we begin to listen to that, we begin to live with integrity to ourself, to our own path, to our life.

Covid-19 has given many of us the chance to slow down. Let’s use it wisely. Don’t waste it on worrying about what might be. Use this Pause to spend some time in meditation, contemplation, in nature. Journal. Spend some time with yourself. Really with yourself, no distractions. Examine yourself, Meet yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself.

The antidote to fear is Love

Love or fear.

Which do you choose?

2 Comments on “Banging on about fear

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: