Fear in the unknown


I find it so easy to slip into panic and confusion around the not knowing. I feel it doesn’t take much to be hooked by fear, wrapped up inside of it, and not know how to return home.

This changing world feels so foreign. What was, no longer is, and who am I without everything that I thought made up my life?

Each day it seems that new questions arise, and what you may find, if you sit with the anxiety, the worry, the anger, the sadness, the grief………. is that underneath it is fear.

Fear is a natural part of life. It is nature's protector. It keeps us safe…….AND sometimes it causes unnecessary suffering.

I find myself feeling deep gratitude for my practices. They support me in so many ways, each day. Sometimes the fear is so strong and so far outside of my window of tolerance I reach for them all to calm my system and come back home to myself. Other times, I can sit quietly with the fear and allow it to be there, offer it love and begin to heal the root of it.

What I find key is to not fear the fear. To have the intention to let go of the resistance to the fear. Resistance equals suffering.

The moment we feel fear, for many of us, we jump to I don’t want to feel fear. I shouldn’t be feeling this. Something is wrong. Something is wrong with me. And we jump there in the blink of an eye.

So, what’s so wrong about FEAR?

What is so wrong about NOT KNOWING?

We don’t like it.

It doesn’t “feel good.”

We should know better. Be better. Be stronger. We shouldn't be afraid.

WHY?

What if being with the fear and the not knowing is the path forward? What if where you are is exactly where you're supposed to be? What if there is nothing wrong with fear, and pain, and grief?

My favorite book that holds so much wisdom for me is The Path is Everywhere by Matt Licata.

I will share 2 excerpts here in the hope that it helps shift your perspective of your fear and of the pervasive not knowing, which is in itself a completely valid feeling in the world right now.

FEAR

"Fear is merely a temporary wave in the nervous system, longing to be met, integrated, and metabolized in the wholeness that you are, as are all forms that appear in the mystery of the inner landscape. It is not an enemy against whom you fight imaginary spiritual battles. You can call of the war and set aside the conditioning of a spirituality of aggression once you see how much unnecessary suffering such fictional wars generate. Apprehended with an open heart, fear is revealed to be a unique form of aliveness that seeks the light of your presence, which could never, ever be blemished by the temporary movement of fear.

By abandoning fear and concluding that its presence is evidence that something has gone wrong and you have failed, you inadvertently keep alive the ancient pathways of self-abandonment and self-violence. Love is not opposed to fear but wishes to embrace it, enter into intimacy with it, and provide room for its essence to unfold and illuminate. There is no need for you to fear fear any longer. In this very moment, you can call off the war with your experience, holding whatever arises within your body and your heart as an invitation into wholeness.

When fear is fully met and safe passage is provided, it reveals itself, like all form, as none other than love in disguise. You need no longer practice a spirituality of exclusion and aggression. Fear is not the opposite of love, for love has no opposite. "

NOT KNOWING

"As our center of gravity drops out of the density of the conditioned and into the intelligence of the body, we discover profound wisdom and creativity in the core of the not-knowing. We come to see that not-knowing is a perfectly valid, honorable, and authentic place to be, and not in need of transformation. It is a pure expression of transformation, in and of itself, exactly as it is.

As an experiment, you could say out loud, with the earth as your witness, “I don’t know.” And give yourself permission to not know, for now, without any shame, judgment, or self-aggressions. You need no longer pathologize the movement of not-knowing, but embrace and explore it with curiosity and fiery tenderness.

Sink into the raw, ripe, pregnant, muddy glory and mess of your unique, unprecedented heart….and see what you are."

I love his writing.

Do not abandon yourself when faced with fear. Meet yourself there. When you can, for however long you can. Hold yourself in compassion, with a tender open heart, and offer love.

When it’s too big, when it’s too unbearable, and you are too lost in the wave, reach for your senses to bring you back here. Name your experience out loud, name your physical sensations out loud, name what you see in your surroundings, gently put your hands on your body, move your body, let out noise, move the energy that is alive in your body, see if you can calm the system enough to investigate with kindness what is really going on in your body and your heart.

Every feeling you are experiencing right now is valid.

Every wave is part of your ocean.

Uncertainty is growth.

From fear, if we allow ourselves to release the resistance to it, it can evoke the best within us. Our resourcefulness. Our bravery, our courage, our love, our compassion. It can awaken our hearts. It can show us what really matters to us.

If there is one thing that this virus has made clear is, nothing is certain.

And in the face of this uncertainty, we see how connected we are. The virus didn’t care about borders, or race, or class, or gender. WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.

And so I give myself and you permission to sit in the unknown. To be in the question. We really want to figure it all out, our brain wants some normalcy, we want to make sense of it, but we are all being urged on a global level to slow the F down.

So slow down.

Return to.

In this unknown, in this pause, can we return to our wildness? Our true nature. Ourselves and each other?

The way things were is no longer, so what is our new way?

What is true for you?

And can you be ok with not knowing?



-Aspen

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