During Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, we made a statement that many people still remember today. He said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” It would be nice if I could say that one could go through one’s life without ever experiencing fear. However, that would not be realistic. What is important to remember is that we can use fear as a way of evolving.
As with anything, one of the first things we can do is acknowledge that we are feeling the fear. On an episode of America’s Top Model, Tyra Banks asked the finalists if they were nervous and they were afraid to say yes. She said the best thing you can do when you are nervous is own your nervousness. See the more you try to deny something the bigger it gets and the more power it assumes in your life. The minute you say, I am afraid; it loses its power over you. Some people have a fear of saying they are feeling fear because they agreed to the idea that to do so is an act of weakness. So what if you changed that agreement and believed that it was an act of strength.
The fear is not going to go away until you decide to remove it from your life. It is not about being afraid, it is about what you do with the fear and what you learn through it. Fear is like a speck in your eye that clouds your judgment. There is a Christian scripture in Matthew 7:5, which advises us to remove the specks from our own eyes so that we have the clarity to assist others. We cannot evolve spiritually or assist others in their evolution until we do the work to move through the fears in our life.
Moving through the fear is an inside job. It entails having a dialogue with yourself, an honest dialogue. It means you have to ask yourself questions like, “Why am I feeling afraid?” “Where is this fear coming from?” “What is this fear based on?” “What am I still not owning about my fear?”
While the easiest thing to do would be to ask others what they think, and what they think you should do. their response are about them and their stories, not about you and your life and what is really at the root of your fear. As Meg Christian once sang, “Great wisdom through painful experience is an inside job!” Not until we do the heart and soul work to move through the fear, can we begin to take action and move through it.
Remember that doing the heart and soul work is an action. Once we get started, it is easier to keep going. This is true with just about anything I can think of. The hardest thing seems to be getting started. Once we do, once we get started, we tend to feel better about ourselves and the impact of the fear in our lives dissipates and often lends itself to a brand new perspective on life.
In this economic time, many people have a fear of losing their job. I can understand that. Earlier this year, I was informed that my part time job with the State University of New York was being cut by 1/3. There was this momentary wave of fear that wept through my body and then I went through this process of thinking about my fear, where it was coming from, what I was going to do to relieve it, and how I was going to move forward.
What I found was that when I released the fear, this plethora of opportunities opened up for me. While I am still teaching part time, moving through the fear gave me the courage to begin Inspiritual. Instead of allowing the fear to debilitate me, I was able to use the fear as a springboard to allow me to use my spiritual gifts more abundantly. Doing so, has also meant that I have moved through related fears such as public speaking. The releasing of each fear enables me to move more completely into my spiritual greatness.
When I was a young girl, my Bubby (Yiddish for grandmother) used to tell me when you could see the good in a bad situation; you know you are going to be ok. This is true with fear as well. When you are able to move through fear, there is a gift waiting for you. Fear does not need to hold you prisoner; fear can set you free. Fear can move you forward. Fear can bring you into a deeper relationship with yourself and with your Higher Power, however you define that. Now is the time to begin to unwrap your fear and experience the gifts it will bring into your life.