There is a pivotal scene from the 1939 movie musical, “The Wizard of Oz” where the main character, Dorothy, and her group of cohorts encounter a gigantic, formidable, overwhelming, fire-and-brimstone “entity” that has the group literally quaking in their shoes from fear. The group is petrified by the seemingly “real” object of fear until the main character’s beloved dog, accompanying her on her journey, happens to pull a curtain stationed behind the petrified contingent revealing a frail, feeble-looking man frantically maneuvering levers that are actually animating the fearfully intimidating fixture before them. As the group becomes aware of the deceit from the dog’s reveal, in an instant, the fear is dispelled as the group is no longer duped by the orchestrated deception. This scene reflects the essence of releasing fear.
As the scene concludes, the formerly intimidating fixture that has controlled behavior through fear is still attempting a last-ditch effort to intimidate but the “gig is up” as they say; the group has withdrawn their validation of the “fearful entity” due to their awareness of the truth. This is what makes the metaphor of the scene so potently emancipating: nothing has changed but their perception, yet it changes everything! (The movie is loaded with metaphors which is one of the reasons it has become a perennial classic to this day.) Releasing fear essentially is a matter of releasing the perception that sustains it!
Our attempts to resist, control, escape, suppress and avoid the fear that our perception of experiences trigger amounts to participating in validating the fear-triggered perception – it does little to actually dispel the fear itself. The reason fear triggered by finances, relationships, health, career and the like becomes chronic is because the fear encountered from perception isn’t actually dispelled. It is just temporarily abated – suspended – through distraction, temporary alleviation of the distress, coping mechanisms and suppression – until another triggered reaction is encountered. This is not releasing fear but rather it is living with it. If perspective is not altered the fear becomes a static emotional fixture.
Constant Companion – or Not
You do not have to live with fear. Releasing fear is a matter of challenging the perception that triggers the fear; not just reacting to it. Many effective and not so effective efforts to manage the fear that arises from our perception of things unwittingly – and detrimentally – breeds an unconscious attachment to the very perceptions that foment our fears into default reactions. These default reactions to fear-inducing perceptions establish a psychological circumference that restricts and limits our inherent capacity for greater and more fulfilling living.
Releasing fear boils down to releasing the attachment to the perception that validates the fear. When the attachment to a particular perception about a situation is released it enables release of the perception itself that justifies the fear.
Before releasing a fear, before releasing the attachment to fear – fear itself must be deconstructed; faced so that the fear of fear is dissipated. Normal default reaction to fear is to in some way attempt to avert the fear. Through suppression, denial, reactive action, coping mechanisms or ignoring the fear – these typically become the ways fear is “handled.” This is due solely to the fear of fear. Our knee-jerk reactions to fear (fear of finances, relationships, health, one’s self, the world, etc.) validate and perpetuate the perception-sanctioned reason for fear. This is why the symptoms of fear must be faced squarely and directly to, in effect, take the fear out of fear.
Don’t Fight the Feeling
When a thought, an incident, a situation or person triggers fear, “witness” the symptoms as though you were an anthropologist studying the way a species responds to certain stimuli. Is there a queasiness in the stomach? Heart palpitations? Imagining scenes of doom and gloom related to the fear stimuli? Whatever the fear symptoms witnessed, simply be present to witnessing them dispassionately, objectively. You may say to yourself, “Hmmm I’m noticing sensations in the gut… hmmm, look at the scenario my mind is imagining – whatever the symptoms, observe and note them, then encourage MORE of the symptoms (!?).
Yes, invite more of the symptoms! (???) This, at first, seems counter-intuitive, but therapeutically, it is the most direct way to dissipate the fear out of fear. Unlike constantly ruminating about the fear as this suggestion seems to imply, instead, the context is that you are knowingly and intentionally inviting the experience of the fear symptoms in order to desensitize yourself from the “charge” you experience from fear energy. When a perception of a matter triggers fear, feel/witness the symptoms until you take the boogey-man out of the fear reaction. This calling of “fear’s bluff” by knowingly facing its symptoms takes you out of reactionary, subjective responses to the charged fear experience allowing the release of the attachment to fear and the fear-perception sustaining it.
For example, you receive some news that will, from the perception triggered, negatively impact your finances. There is the immediate fear reaction elicited from your perception of what this financial occurrence means to you, knowingly feel/witness these fear symptoms until the emotional charge from of the stimuli dissipates. It is because we maintain the same fear reaction to the same perceptions of matters that we unwittingly set up a mental boundary of constriction regarding the thing feared. This mental boundary is what actually causes what is feared to occur. As the fear charge dissipates you can then, from a psychologically centered vantage point, be receptive to a perception (perspective) about the matter that leads to ably accommodating the financial incident.
Can I Get a Witness?
By releasing the fear of the triggered perception regarding a matter through dispassionately witnessing the fear symptoms, you become emboldened to chart your own course by not being manipulated by the mind’s wrote, default perceptions. As attachment to default perceptions are released so too is the constricting parameters of the limited perspective that triggers the fear in the first place.
You are more than the sum total of what has happen to you – it is the reason the possibility for growth never ceases. Your saving grace in any dilemma encountered is that the issue is finite but your awareness is infinite with the perspectives that can readily accommodate matters. Apply this fear-desensitizing and release technique when any perspective about a matter triggers fear.
Releasing fear is a matter of calling it’s bluff; to know that fear arises solely from the perspective of a thing – not the thing itself. This awareness deprograms you from wrote – oft times consensus – thinking about matters freeing you to access the unlimited nature of your true nature!
A “Top Ten Ways to Release Fear” e-book is arriving shortly with practical ways for putting this life-changing fear-release process in practice. Check the Conscious Life website or newsletter for publication notice.