Our number one plague as humans is not death, it is the fear of death.
More precisely, it is fear itself.
We use fear to create and justify suffering, we use it as an excuse to inflict pain, we use it to barricade our hearts, our selves, our homes and our countries, and we use fear as a way to keep ourselves away from ever wanting, reaching for, or achieving that which we truly want.
While it is true that fear also has the power to save our lives, to help us think more quickly and efficiently when we’re under immediate threat, and even could help us trust our intuition in high-stake situations, still in our modern day existence, fear has become more of a liability than a blessing. In fact, fear, in many ways, has become the bane of our existence.
But what exactly is fear? Why does it exist? And how can we use it to improve our lives rather than ruin them?
This week, on the Unleash Your Peace Podcast (iTunes, Website), we dive into this fascinating and important topic over the course of five episodes, released Monday through Friday. Tune in to listen along. This article contains some of the highlights from the first couple of days.
Napoleon Hill brilliantly breaks down fear into the six basic fears that keep us from living our best lives. These six basic fears are:
Fear of poverty,
Fear of criticism,
Fear of ill health,
Fear of loss of love or not finding love,
Fear of old age,
Fear of death.
I believe that all fear is rooted in the fear of death, or rather, that it is the very idea of death itself that gives birth to all fear.
In other words, it is in the moment we make death real that all fear is born.
To know what I mean, let’s take a look at what fear actually is.
If we accept the premise that we are made of love, quite literally, as we suggested in last week’s article, and that the very experience of love is possible when we connect to our Beingness — the greater, grander, non-physical entity that is both an extension of us and occupies us. Then, it’s easy to explain fear.
Fear is nothing more than the absence of love, the same way that darkness is nothing more than the absence of light.
It is only when we forget what we truly are — infinite consciousness individualized in physical form — that we are able to experience fear. In other words, it is when we make the physical manifested reality more real that our Beingness that we experience fear.
Is this not true when we encounter a bear or a lion in the wild, or if we are standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump?
Fear arises in us in the face of imminent or immediate danger of harm to the physical self. Would we still be afraid in those moments if we remembered that we are eternal Beings, that this physical form is but one form among many we have occupied and will occupy, and that all things are always working out for us?
The very idea of death ceases to exist when we remember that we are endless. It is like believing we are unlovable when we are in fact made of love.
The fear of death, along with all other fears, is threatened when we turn inward and reconnect with our essence of love.
Because fear is the absence of love, and because love is the essence of what we are, all emotions that we experience are rooted in either love or its absence — either in connectedness to our Beingness or separation from it. Those rooted in connectedness are fueled by love, and those rooted in separation are fueled by fear.
I think, perhaps this is why we often feel like we’re dying or our lives are over when we are experiencing low-vibration, fear-based emotions like anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, unworthiness, overwhelment, jealousy and rage. Have you tried asking yourself the questions “What am I here for?” “Who am I?” and “What’s my purpose?” when you are in a place of separation? In that state of being, these questions can easily push a person over the edge into despair and self-loathing.
We find little meaning to our lives when we pinch ourselves off from our Beingness.
Love-based emotions, on the other hand, not only feel great but also give meaning to our lives. Love, joy, happiness, hopefulness, satisfaction, excitement, positive anticipation, gratitude, bliss. These emotions fill us with the light of creation, with new ideas, and with the internal resources to pursue and achieve any dream no matter how far fetched. When we are looking into the light, which is always within us, everything makes sense, because we remember that our purpose is to feel good, and that we might as well fulfill this purpose while we are here, occupying these incredible bodies.
So, how then can you shift out of separation and into connectedness? How can you find your way out of fear and into love?
The first and most important thing to do is to stop moving all together. If you are walking into a dark tunnel, with the light of the sun behind you, you have to first stop walking. To break the momentum of negative emotions, stop doing the things and thinking the thoughts that are triggering these emotions.
If you’re having a hard time with this, distracting yourself. My personal favorite thing to do is to watch standup comedy or romantic comedies. I also tend to dance or take naps.
Whatever it is you need to do to break the cycle of negative thoughts and self-destructive acts, do it.
What brings you joy?
What makes you laugh?
What gets you feeling excited?
Is it dancing, painting, writing, reading, watching cat videos, hiking, running, yoga, board games, video games, volunteering? Look inward and find those activities that instantly make you feel more satisfied, and do those things.
Once your emotional state is neutralized — once you’ve stopped actively taking steps into the dark tunnel — ask yourself, “What thoughts can I choose that feel better?” Make it a habit to choose better feeling thoughts. This is the equivalent of walking out of the tunnel and into the light.
This exercise also works when you are afraid.
When I feel hesitant to do the work I know I must do, or to share myself in a way that feels vulnerable, I recognize these as symptoms of fear. So, once I’ve broken the momentum of the destructive actions or thoughts, I’ll ask myself:
What are you afraid of?
Once I vocalize the fear, it is seconds before it is dissolved. Because there is no fear that does not sound completely ridiculous when it is put against the knowledge that we are perfect, infinite Beings, here to create.