Most of our childhood fears were learned from our parents. Today, we can explore past assumptions and embrace the gift of healthy fear.
We learned to fear as children
A baby is born with only two fears: that of falling and of loud noises, but all of us now carry many different fears in our bodies. These we’ve learnt from others as they tried to shape our behaviour, but which more often just hampered our natural learning. We may have been put down by others who didn’t want us to show emotions they couldn’t handle, or we could have been shamed with threats of punishment which did much to stop our natural creative exploration of the world. We became frightened to try, uncomfortable with making mistakes, of being shown up as being inadequate in any way. So we complied and became more passive but were learning to mistrust our intuitive ability to sense our way forward appropriately. Fear became our prison guard, stopping us from being fully ourselves, blocking and restricting us.
We can revisit our childhood fears
As adults we may now try to overwhelm the voice of fear to fight that powerful emotion inside us by doing extreme sports, but this isn’t the way. Undealt with fear inside us pulls us out of shape and shows itself in our bodily tensions and stresses, even through the night hours. Fear is a response to a threat that we perceive. We can’t just fight our fear and try to get rid of it by thinking about it. We will need to start a dialogue with it. If we go back through events in our early childhood we will start to hear what fear was trying to say. We’ll need to look at how our father and mother modeled dealing with fear, how our identity was shaped by this. When we push into what our fear is trying to tell us and the assumptions we made around our experiences, we learn new skills in dealing with it. We will need to expose the lies we’ve believed as a given, and as we interrogate our fear we will need to practice exactly what it tells us is not possible.
When we fear appropriately, it’s such a gift!
As we retrain our feelings, we’ll begin to realize what a powerful gift fear is meant to be. If we are really getting in touch with our emotions we’ll find that we’re becoming more intuitive and sensitive and being opened to all our senses. Our experience of life will enlarge as we discover a greater space in ourselves to explore, to make mistakes and become fully alive.