How Does Fear Fry our System?

Perhaps we’ve heard this notion that, actually, we need our fear. While it’s true we need to be able to stand up for ourselves—even defend ourselves, when necessary—we don’t need to be in fear to do this. More to the point, it’s our fear that prevents us from doing this effectively.

Fear is that feeling in our gut that tells us something out there is going to hurt us. It casts a net over everything we see, looking for a scene that is somehow reminiscent of something hurtful that happened back when, probably in our childhood. ‘Aha,’ it says, ‘I’ve spotted it. See, I needed my fear to keep me safe.’

Armed with this type of defensive strategy, we walk through life in a trance, seeing the world through a hypersensitive filter. This perpetual pinging of everything crossing our path keeps our system on semi-alert, and keeps us in an elevated state of perceived stress. Our physical body joins this hunt for hurtful things by constantly dumping low doses of cortisol into our blood. Just in case. Because, you never know. We might need it. At any moment.

But cortisol does things to the body, like reducing bone formation—think: osteoporosis—and weakening the immune system—think: get sick. Worse yet, should we find ourselves in need of our God-given ability to think and defend ourselves in a truly unsafe situation, all this “preparation” has made us less capable. Because when we’re living in fear, we’re running on a half-fried system.

Fear arises from that part of ourselves that wants us to stay separate, and to stay very afraid. The Lower Self whispers in our ear about a past that haunts us, and uses this to keep us out of our current reality. It leverages our own buried wrong conclusions so that our attitudes and actions cause monsters to materialize.

This is how we create our own frightful reality, then turn around and claim it was our fear that kept us safe. The way out is by finding the courage to face the ghosts of our own hidden painful past. We must unravel our fear if we want to quench that anxiety in our gut.

—Jill Loree

Phoenesse: Find Your True You

Learn more in the Real.Clear. series of spiritual teachings, or read Spilling the Script: A Concise Guide to Self-Knowing.

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