Sir Godfrey Gregg LOM, D. Div, OHPM, ROMC
Who wants to be afraid? In every moment, each of us is given the choice to love or to fear. A simple choice, one might think. But in this world, with violence, terrorism, war and disease becoming every day life for so many, is there anyone who hasn’t struggled with fear?
Whenever we’re about to make a major leap forward in our spiritual development, fear always steps into our path. It’s the antagonist in all our personal stories. It’s true that we attract what we fear. The more we fear a thing, the more likely it is to happen. And if left unchecked, fear can take control of our lives. Yet, everything has a purpose and fear is no exception.
There is good reason to be afraid of some things. Fear is a messenger that warns us there may be danger ahead. Its purpose is to guide us toward actions that will protect us as well as our loved ones. It is natural and healthy to feel fear. But like other natural tendencies we have, we’re here to master our fear.
We all wish that life could be stable. We imagine that we would feel safe and comfortable if we could make life remain static, or secure. But without dangers in our lives we cannot live to our highest potential, and we never fulfill that potential without learning from our fear.
Of course, you don’t want to take it too far. You don’t want to be so engrossed in your fear that you become consumed by it. But there is a balance to be achieved between that extreme and its opposite – avoiding, denying, trying to be unafraid. Avoidance of fear is our greatest barrier to spiritual growth and happiness.
When we try to avoid or deny our fear in the hope that we can just be rid of it, it usually gets worse. Shutting out fear invariably shuts out the choices and blessings that could take us to the next level of our soul’s development.
Fear is very much like quicksand. The more you fight it, the deeper you sink. Embracing your fear is akin to relaxing in quicksand so you can stop sinking. Until we face our fear head-on, and embrace it, it will dominate us.
Dr. Carl Jung said, “The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate.” Fear that is ignored takes up residence in our souls, and draws experiences to us in which it can exercise itself. We then find ourselves face to face with the same fear-inducing experiences again and again.
The result of this is that our ability to exercise our free will becomes hampered more and more every time we let fear take over. This can create extremely stubborn blocks in our spiritual progress, and can harm us physically, mentally and emotionally.
Avoiding fear blocks us from the joy we could be experiencing and blinds us to the Divine Light in our soul. But when we begin the journey toward embracing our fear, we begin a healing process that leads us inevitably to our true Selves, the Self that is Divine. The whole point of life is to come to know ourselves as a part of that Divinity and to reunite with that Truth within.
When we are afraid, we are being blessed with an opportunity to learn, to grow, to see and hear the world more clearly. Fear shows us the ways we hold ourselves back. It also provides us with an energy which we can transmute into power within ourselves.
Don’t be afraid of fear. Do not reject it or push it away. Instead, reach out to it. Love it. When you show compassion and tenderness toward your fear, you transform it into a strength, a courage that eventually becomes the seat of peace in your soul. This is what gives spiritual masters their peace. Nothing can sway them from their centre because they have transformed their fear.
Fear is the seed of courage. Even Jesus Christ experienced fear. It’s what we do in response to our fear that makes the difference. That’s where love comes in.
Love is fear’s perfect polarity. And love is ever-present throughout all eternity. Compassion for your delicate, fearful self always leads to freedom from fear. Love transforms fear. There is a magic that is sparked when we give love and tenderness to our fear.
When you focus on love, its ability to touch you grows. When you send out love, it always comes back to you larger than it was when you sent it. And when you love in fear’s presence, fear vanishes. Just like when you shine a light into a dark room. It pervades that darkness, fills it up and turns it to light.
So let your fear come to the surface. Whatever fear you may have, whether it be large or small. Don’t fight it; just sit with it and get to know it. Ask it what it is trying to tell you and listen to what it may be asking you for. Let yourself be moved by your fear’s needs. Let your heart break for your fear.
Ask God for a deeper understanding of your fear and for a deeper understanding of the truth of love. Let compassion and tenderness flow through you, replacing any previous judgments you may have had about your fear. Assure your fear that you hear it, that you will take care of it and its needs will be met. See yourself wrapping your arms around your fear in a loving embrace. Feel your fear dissolving into your inner light.
Once you are in contact with your fear, and have found understanding of why it has come to you, you can take right action. This is the way to own your fear and take personal responsibility for finding your own inner peace, no matter what your circumstances. This is not an easy path, but it is easier than the loss of Self that you would experience otherwise.
Remember that life is a gift. Life will bring its ups and downs, but peace is something you can experience even in the midst of chaos.