Overcoming fear and finding your strength

Posted on Nov 3, 2011 in Healing, Spiritual living

Your personal lizard of fear

I love that poem by Marianne Williamson that begins “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

But what does that mean? How can we be afraid of our own strength and why would we avoid it? Our strengths can often be hidden in our weaknesses, covered over and cleverly disguised by past hurts and fears of being hurt again in the future. So we limit ourselves because of deep-rooted fears but the thing is most of us don’t know what those fears are and how they are directing our behaviour. If you don’t know what you’re dealing with how can you be strong enough to overcome it? The ancients used to say that you could gain power over an enemy by knowing its name, and that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about.

Fear is one of our oldest inbuilt responses from the days of having to kill for our food and risk being killed in the process. So fear is either worrying about not having enough of something, or of having that something taken away from you in an unpleasant way! Usually fear is there because somewhere along the way you’ve absorbed a certain idea or belief, untrue and unfounded, about the way life is. For example, “I’ll never have enough money”, “No one will ever love me,” “Everyone always ends up letting you down,” “When things go right for a bit I just know it’s all going to go wrong.”  Do any of these sound familiar to you? I know they do to me! Fear has nothing to do with current reality, but projects a belief into the future to make you afraid of what might happen. That’s why millionnaires can still feel financially insecure, and a man with an adoring, devoted wife can still feel unloved. It’s also why a lot of people are not living to their full potential or shining as brightly as they could.

Once you’ve identified what your fear sounds like, you have to recognise that it is not you and be able to detach yourself from it. In her fantastic book Steering by Starlight, Martha Beck suggests you see your fear as a little lizard character (the reptilian brain function!) and give it an apppropriate name. So if you have a belief that nothing ever works out for you, your lizard could be called Mona (a pun on Moaner)! A magical thing happens once you do this – you start to see the funny side of your fear when it kicks in, and it’s impossible to be scared to death while you’re laughing at something so ridiculous.

A really great way to know whether you’re acting from limiting fear or not is to learn how your body feels when it’s presented with it. So first of all remember a decision you made that you know was a good one for you and that made you happy. Go back, relive that choice and notice how it makes you feel. Your body should feel warm, relaxed and open. Now think of a decision you made, perhaps out of duty or because you thought it was the right thing to do, but that turned out to be bad for you. Relive that choice and notice how it makes you feel. Your body will automatically tense, contract or shrink in some way. Now focus on a decision that you have to make now and review each option in turn. How does your body respond to each alternative? The one that leaves you feeling most open, warm and relaxed is the one that will be the most authentic choice for you.

Recently my youngest son decided that he wasn’t enjoying his A level courses and wanted to look for alternatives, but also wanted to stay in our rural location. My own lizard kicked in immediately with “You’ll never find a job in this economic climate,” “You must have academic qualifications to get anywhere in the world,” and so on. I’m not proud but that’s how it was and thankfully he didn’t listen to me! Once I’d managed to tame my pesky reptile ( and had a good chuckle at it) we visited the job centre and the careers office and looked at the options for my wise young man. He was bored with all the study and the theory and loved the idea of getting down to something practical like carpentry, for which he’d always displayed a natural talent. A week later he was enrolled on a carpentry and joinery course at a college nearer home and had been offered an apprenticeship with a carpenter in the small town where we live.

Ahem! I rest my case. When you don’t act out of fear, miracles really can happen!

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Semele Xerri

Semele Xerri is a psychic intuitive healer, animal communicator, and Reiki Master Teacher. To find out more about her and her services, go to her Work with me page.

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