This is something which has plagued me my entire life, and still does to this day. Whilst I have learnt and manage to push through this most days, and put on the ‘mask’ of social acceptability whereby others may find it hard or impossible to tell. However, this is often exhausting and draining; requiring a recharge of many hours of solitude. I am employed in a highly social and conformist vocation which I would rather not be doing, and is one that I am increasingly finding difficult to push through, for the sake of bills, money and family responsibilities. Again, how many poor souls are in employment they hate, just because of financial commitments?
Now, I feel that this is an epidemic of grand proportions, for I notice anxiety & fear in others constantly. Society is built on fear and anxiety is but a symptom of this, along with depression, anger and other equally unpleasant emotions. Why is this? Why are we encouraged to be in a state of constant high alert, for that’s what it is. Why is the media full of threats and warnings to safety, threat of war, threat of crime, threat of illness, threat of everything! Why are we conditioned to believe this is our lot, whether you like it or lump it?
The fear response
The fear response is nothing more than an evolutionary radar alarm system, which warns consciousness and the manifestation of a person, of a potential threat or danger. It’s like a warning light on a dashboard of a car, which indicates a problem in the engine. It’s not the problem, it’s just the (unpleasant) sound of the radar alarm. However, our ego’s and fear response systems have become out of control and the alarm system has taken over and is now in charge and running the show for many. I suspect deeply that this is known by those that run our show.
Anxiety is like a crack team of elite police officers, that constantly keep you confined in a tiny shell of staying indoors, watching crap on tv, eating & drinking crap and not meeting anyone new or experiencing life, and most importantly, not challenging why things are the way they are, and why we are trapped in unhappy jobs and lives. Who needs physical coercion, curfews and authority to keep you in line as a small cog, when you understand how effective a tool fear is at keeping you in line and in your tiny little shell of me.
Awareness and mindfulness
Well, it’s time for a change. Understand that loving awareness is the key, for this shines the light on fear and shows it for what it actually is, a warning light on the dashboard of the brain – nothing more, nothing less. Fear can’t hurt or kill you, and is ultimately, just an unpleasant collection of energy within the body complex – detached from reality and your world. See it for what it is and understand this. Sit with fear or anxiety, let it be, learn to feel it fully and understand it. Watch how it generates fear based thoughts and attempts to convince you to do or don’t do something. Watch the thoughts and allow them to come and go, without getting drawn Into thinking. It takes practice and thoughts can magnetically pull you into rumination, but just keep up the practice, even if it’s for five or ten minutes a day. I find a journal is incredibly helpful, especially at recording intense fear or anxiety as it’s happening.
Keep up the practice
The ego will continue to throw its tricks at you and generate many thoughts of why the fear is real and why is so scary and justified; again, this is just part of the illusion. With continued awareness, along with loving acceptance of the fear and thoughts, they start to loose their grip and control, and you start to learn your true nature. Now, I am far from over the hill, and am very much work in progress, but acceptance and awareness are my saviours.
We are all so much more than we are conditioned to believe, we are vast, we are everything and all, and we are also nothingness, the emptiness that everything arises from. You can and will be anything you put your mind to.