Why shouldn’t we fear. For one thing, the bible employs us to “Not Fear” at least 365 times. Here are just a few.
- There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love
1 John 4: 18
- So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Of course we shouldn’t wander through life without using common sense. However, living in fear on a regular basis can be torturous. So what do we do about it? How do we transcend this limiting emotion that seems to keep us stuck. Today we’re going to unpack that.
When you are afraid of anything you are acknowledging it’s power to hurt you. But what if they have hurt you? That leads us to look at why words and actions are hurtful to us in the first place.
Of course physical pain hurts and warns us to stop what we are doing to preserve the body. But what about emotional pain? That one can seem more tricky. Once you know the origins of your internal triggers, childhood core beliefs and how the subconscious mind is formed you begin to better understand the pain and why it exists. Without going into extreme detail, let’s just look at some basics.
Our subconscious minds are formed by the time we are 7 years old. Before that age we are just walking around soaking up everything and anything that people say or do as 100% truth. We do not question it and we don’t even have the ability to think critically about it. Add to that the messages we continue to get from society, school and media for the years to come after that. All of it takes what we absorbed before age 7 and adds additional meaning to the belief. We continue to define ourselves through this lens.
Then one day we are swept off our feet. We are in love! We believe that this feeling of love is what we have dreamed about to this point and we believe that our ability to keep this love and affection from the other person will define our self worth. These thoughts are not usually conscious but underneath it all they linger and drive our actions.
If this person starts to criticize you, ignore you, dump on you, gaslight you, and/or cheat on you, then you are left with a complex duality in your mind. What is real? What did you do wrong? How can you fix it? Maybe you’re unlovable? None of these thoughts could be farther from the truth but when fear enters in, you may find yourself unable to see clearly. This person has been both loving and cruel…. So what’s the truth? This is when cognitive dissonance happens. That’s sort of a topic all of it’s own so we’ll get into that another time. For now, just know that there is a logical explanation for your confusion.
But back to fear. It seems like when hurtful behavior starts that should be the time to exit the relationship but fear keeps us stuck. Our fear of rejection is strong. Humans don’t like to be wrong. Humans will choose death over admitting they were wrong, as evidenced by so many wars around the world. So if you leave, does that mean you were wrong about him?
Fear ultimately is an indication that we are not completely sure about our value. It is a sign that we may not fully understand our worth to God and how unconditional His love is for us. It can indicate that we do not yet feel fully empowered and strong within ourselves. All of this is pretty normal to the human condition so be kind and patient with yourself. Cultivating an inner worthiness requires a certain level of deconstruction from our programmed belief system.
So what is the power that the other person has over you that causes you pain? Ask yourself curious questions like:
- What am I afraid of if that person rejects me?
- What does that say about me?
- What will happen if I accept myself as worthy, flaws and all?
- Who gets to define me and why?
When we stay curious and keep asking the questions we will eventually get to the final point that reveals our deepest fears.
The inner work of becoming free from the fear that traps us is available to all of us. Just know that you don’t have to do it alone.