How Fear can Help You Heal

Today I feel inspired to reflect on fear, particularly the fear that people universally feel when their body is malfunctioning, manifesting strange symptoms, or when they get a diagnosis from a doctor. I suspect we’ve all felt this kind of fear at some point in our lives, and from what I can tell, many of us live with it on an ongoing basis. We feel afraid of the impending deterioration of our body, are terrified at the lack of control we seem to have, and worry about the changes it might create in our lives. And we come face to face with what perhaps might be our greatest fear: the eventual demise of our human body.

If it’s our own body we’re dealing with, many of us tend to avoid facing the symptoms directly and often avoid seeking the advice of a medical professional for fear of what they might say. We hope that if we ignore the symptoms they’ll go away. Or some of us might try to alleviate our fear by running to the doctor at every minor ache or pain. As symptoms worsen, or perhaps when we eventually get a diagnosis, we go into the classic stress response: fight, flight or freeze. Either we use up our energy to battle against the disease, or we distract ourselves from it in any number of ways, or we feel frozen with fear and unable to make choices. Any one of these three response make it close to impossible to hear what our body is trying to teach us, and thus choices and possibilities that could bring us healing on so many levels are inaccessible. Many of us then hand over our bodies and choices to external authorities who are often making their recommendations from fear as well. Our medical system is the product of a culture that fears disease and distrusts the body.

No matter what stage we’re at in dealing with disease, I believe that facing and being with fear is an essential part of the healing process.

Before I proceed I’d like to take an interlude to ask you a question. Do you believe that Life wants you to be happy and well? Or is Life conspiring to make you miserable and unwell?  I’ve personally had glimpses of the answer to this question in awakened moments, and I’ve read and heard many spiritual masters say that when we touch into the deepest fabric of Life, beyond our human conditioning, we clearly see that every detail of our lives, from the sublime to the greatest challenges, has been conspiring with great love towards our evolution into our full and true nature, accompanied by a sense of joy, ease and peace.

If Life is benevolent and wants us to heal it seems to me that it wouldn’t make the path to healing complicated or hidden. If Life is conspiring to help us to unfold the loveliest life possible, wouldn’t the steps be made obvious? This has been my experience. However if we’re putting our energy into resisting or arguing with what we’re experiencing in the body, mind or emotions, we will miss the wise and loving counsel that is embedded right in the midst of the moment.

To experience this for yourself, think about a physical symptom or anything else that is currently causing you fear.

Instead of trying to figure out a solution (future) or questioning choices you’ve made (past), take some quiet time to notice what you’re aware of right now in this moment.

  • Physically: what do you feel? What sensations are you aware of? How do they change when you simply become curious about them?
  • Mentally: what stories are you telling about this symptom or ‘problem’? Are they true?
  • Emotionally: how does fear show up in your body? Where do you feel it? How does it change when you open to it with curiosity? As it softens, do other emotions and feelings come into focus? Allow them too.
  • Spiritually: Sense the mature, nurturing and loving Presence within you that is profoundly stable and unaffected by what is happening in the physical, mental and emotional layers of your experience.
  • Be open to guidance, understanding or insights as you rest as this Presence. These may come now or ‘download’ at unexpected times.

Through this simple exercise, we notice that as we drop into and through fear, we become much more available to the guidance and wisdom that is hiding right behind the door of fear. To allow the door to open we simply need to stop running away, to gently turn and face it, and be willing to feel it all the way. As many of us are unaccustomed to being with emotion in this way, it can be very helpful to seek support in this process. Soul Coaches can help with this and guide you to the lived understanding that while fear may seem to be in the way of your healing, it actually is the way.

I wish you blessings of peace and well-being,
Caroline