We associate fear with alarm over safety, anxiety, and resistance.
Oddly, reverence for God is also associated with fear. But that would be related to God being unknown, unpredictable, and potentially vengeful. For example, some Christians may not understand karma and attribute difficulties to God. The Divine is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, the Divine is love incarnate.
For a while, I’ve associated fear with the root chakra. But recently, I realized fear can be associated with any or all of the chakras. Essentially resistance on any level is fear.
Here’s a rough list:
1: Root: fear around survival, sustenance, illness
2: Sex: fear of being alone, of pleasure, of being unconnected, unsupported, or shamed
3: Gut: fear of being assertive, losing status, not being enough
4: Heart: fear of feelings or emotional exposure, intimacy
5: Throat: fear of speaking up, being seen, creativity
6: Forehead: fear of the subtle or Divine
Fear originates as a response to a perceived threat, based on past experiences. Some of those responses are instinctive, some inherited, and we learn some as very young children. Simply being unknown may be perceived as a threat.
Some fear is healthy. You want to be cautious of stepping into traffic, for example. But most of us carry fear-responses that no longer serve us, like an inherited fear of starvation. Or a fear of being seen as naughty. Or some of the fears listed above.
We’re commonly unaware of how much fear we’re running. Anxious? That’s driven by fear. Angry? If it’s ongoing, that’s driven by fear. In fact, you can find fear under almost any of the heavier emotions.
We might even say fear is the lack of love. If there isn’t love, fear can move in. As I wrote over a decade ago, there is only fullness or resistance to fullness.
A Course in Miracles has a saying that all emotions are either love or fear. I think it’s useful to recognize individual emotional flavours. But we can place them on a spectrum towards love or towards fear, towards opening or contracting.
Emotions add a richness to life we miss when contracted. Yet when we first step into this arena, there is likely lots to heal, lots of contractions to release. That’s very normal.
If you’re not yet awake, remember that awareness heals. Noticing how we feel isn’t to validate our position or entrench our pain. It’s so we can have conscious feelings and allow them to complete. In time, our life comes to be driven by love rather than avoidance or grasping. The fullness that can unfold is beyond anything we’ve experienced for many, many lives.
[I’m at the SAND conference so there may be some lag in comments]