Core Fears

Core Fears

Fear by ZS
Fear by ZS

Recently, there have been waves of purification washing through the collective in greater frequency than usual. The current cycles of time call for healing. Life organized circumstances to turn many of us within and face some very old baggage. The collective is unsettled and fearful.

In one wave, when I sat with it, the label “lonely” came up. This resonated with some very old energy from childhood.

And yet, when I felt deeper into it, there was no emotion called “lonely.” That was a mind label. What was the actual emotion or energy?

I found it was fear. In fact, there were two flavours of fear associated.

The primary one was the fear of division. A fear of separation, alienation, or disconnection. “Loneliness” is fear from the perception of being apart or divided from.

This relates to the second chakra and our need to feel connected and a part of. And it related to our child self.

The degree of our sense of division varies. As Myers-Briggs suggests, extroverts gain energy by being with others. This makes social separation much more challenging. An introvert enjoys solo time more. Yet we all need some value of connection.

Connection though conflicts with the ego’s desire to feel safe and unseen. The ego identifies with our sense of being an individual and is afraid of being seen through. We adopt roles or masks to present like parent, partner, or boss. This is to fit in and to protect the ego itself. However, we then become immersed in the roles and confuse them with who we are. Actors can also experience this after they inhabit a role.

The fear of being seen through gets mixed up with the roles and we become protective of them too, even though they’re even more false.

Often, we strike a compromise: enough contact to feel connected but not so much that we see through our roles. We chose friends who play along with a mutual charade.

If we don’t like ourselves or our roles, we’re more likely to seek satisfaction in others or things. And yet, if we don’t feel worthy, we have trouble accepting what we need. It can all be a big self-imposed mess.

The second flavour of fear I found was a fear of emptiness or the void. Space is a quality of the throat chakra. The higher chakras are not known by the lower ones. When we’re identified with our local self, the mystery of our higher self can be fearful.

The heart also has a space but the fear there is of being hurt. That’s not a mystery, even if we shadow our emotions.

Fear of the void also relates to the fear of death, of transcendence, and of awakening. When they’re unknown, we may see them as a loss of self. This fear brings it back to the root chakra and our sense of being.

An important note here. Acting out and reacting is not instinctive behaviour. That’s being driven by our unresolved crap. Instinctive flows with nature, even when endangered. Animals will literally shake off stress.

Also, all of this is much easier to recognize when we’re not in it. This is the tremendous advantage of witnessing.

This and other waves clarified that much of what was is arising is flavours of unresolved fear.

Fear is emotion triggered by real, potential, or imagined danger. It triggers the fight, flight, or freeze stress response unless we recognize it as a false trigger.

Shame, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, embarrassment, and apathy are all flavours of fear. Anger is often driven by fear. Overwhelm is not coping because of unresolved fear. Worry is fear of the future.

For example, shame comes from fear of the loss of status, support, and/or security.

Brené Brown distinguishes these as core emotions. But she also said the list was subject to revision from research. You may find her list (pdf) useful for helping to name what is arising. Naming helps make it more conscious.

Just be careful not to let the mind then try to “manage” emotions. That’s not its territory. Also, allow the emotion so it resolves. Going into it or making a big story about it is the reverse. Letting go, not investing in. Learn these basics and your quality of life will improve markedly.

Some have said if it’s not love, it’s fear. I think there are a few exceptions, like grief and loss.

In another recent wave, some old, vague purifying came to the surface. It was less focused and harder to name. Yet it felt personal and local, unlike the collective. It was fear, but more primitive.

I realized it was very early. Prior to about age 2, our developmental focus is on the body and senses. We learn to walk and talk, for example. Emotions arise but are more akin to sensations than the way we experience them later. They’re less defined and have less metadata from experience.

Like all unresolved emotions, it just needed to be experienced to completion. It didn’t need to be named or managed.

Sometimes, we don’t recognize fear as emotion. Instead we’ll see avoidance and unconscious behaviour. We’ll be reactive or reaching for the sugar, or the booze, or our habitual ways of escape. If we learn to look deeper, we can find the hidden fear behind them. That will resolve the behaviour too.

It takes courage to be with whatever arises. But we’re adults now, so can handle those past fears.

Recognizing the truth of life and our universal sense of Self resolves fear. We discover our infinite and eternal nature. Then we can stand in an open space and allow whatever arises to be felt and resolved. Acres of old burdens can lift off of us.

The greater fulfilment comes from an awakened heart. In the space of an open heart, we can hold all pain and hurt, allowing the healing of even our deepest traumas. Then we can step into the flow of life and love and live fulfilment.

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  1. This post is chock full of so much!

    We are wired to connect. So it always comes down to some variation of: do I feel connected to other beings?

    To my Self?

    To God/Life?

    The collective is fearful and unsettled and it can ignite what is unhealed/not addressed within us…or arouses our ability to be with all of it to root it out, feel it, and let it dissolve and heal for the collective.

    For myself and those I work with, I’ve found the “courage to be with whatever arises” is fundamental for our capacity to heal, grow, awaken, and then embody awakening. A foundational skill that is a needed at all stages on the path.

    Great post!

  2. Lynette

    Wow! Help me understand “Just be careful not to let the mind then try to “manage” emotions. That’s not its territory. Also, allow the emotion so it resolves.”. How can you not help it but the mind managing it? And how can you allow the emotions to resolve? I don’t get it. Example, if I am upset, what I do is think and tell myself I am not upset for the reason I think all is made up. Then I would write things down and then there upset disappears, because clearly I saw that nothing has happened so no need to continue to be upset. Isn’t this a mind managing upset. The harder one let the emotion resolve. What do you mean? So let’s say I am upset, so don’t do anything just sit there and get more and more upset until it disappears? Is this what you mean? Could you point me to a technique that will help me resolve the emotion. Is Seasons Method a good one to do? Or just keep practicing ‘TM?

    1. Hi Lynette
      Mind is the controller when it’s identified with being a personal me. It tries to control everything in its range of experience, including emotions. But emotions arise in a different layer of our being. Mind can’t process emotions – it can only grasp and repress.
      Thus, it’s important to recognize what we’re feeling and allow those feelings to be there. Then they can complete and resolve. If we repress them, they just build up behind the scene, shadow our experience, and burst out creating issues. Energy healing 101. 🙂
      This is one of the reasons I recommend an effortless meditation. This takes us beyond the mind and emotions. Gradually, we develop a bit of distance. We’re not so in and invested in the content. Then we can notice what is arising as it arises and allow it to complete. Mind may try to manage, but we don’t take it seriously anymore. It gradually settles.
      This is a big improvement over reacting to everything and using all our energy to keep a lid on it.
      The process you describe starts with using the mind to try and control the upset rather then feel into what is behind that and resolving it. Mind can’t process the emotion, it can only repress it. Thus the energy motivator of the upset is still in there.
      Journaling how you feel can be a way to process emotions. However, telling yourself a story that it wasn’t real is again mind.
      Good question. It’s not that you sit in the upset. That does indeed amplify it. It’s that you feel inside the upset to see what the emotional charge is behind that. Experiencing that allows the charge to complete.
      I’m not suggesting an understanding of the situation isn’t valuable. We can reassure ourselves by seeing the situation clearly. But we’re not going to resolve the charge that brought it up in the first place unless we experience it. If we don’t, it will come up again and again.
      I don’t know Seasons. I’ve heard Sedona method is good. I talk about my process and Dorothy Rowe’s more formal process here:
      TM does help a great deal. It cultures as above. But I’ve also found it useful to recognize our emotional processes because the mental habit of suppressing emotions will continue to add more stress. If we get how to be in the world better, it will help enhance both the practice and our quality of life.

  3. Judith Mansell

    You say in this post, “Some have said if it is not love it is fear.” Then you mention that grief and loss may be exceptions. Is it not required that in order to experience grief and loss one must inately be programmed with love by the Creator? Fear comes into play when we are incarnated into this dualistic reality. Hence as we become more fully awake as we move toward greater realization, we realize that love does in fact cast out fear. For in the end, to which there is really no end, there is nothing but Love.

    1. Hi Judith
      Right, but grief is not a flavour of love but of loss.
      We can say love has layers. There is a duality of love that is the kind most often sung about on the radio. Love found, love lost.
      Then there is a higher Love, the flow of the Divine, that is unifying. There is no loss of Love as it experiences life as eternal.
      Yes, fear arises in a dualistic experience because of an experience of separation. From the Divine and from each other. But higher Love experiences no such division.
      And yes, all love is flows of life. Love is our very nature.
      I’ve written a number of articles on the topic, like:

  4. Scott

    I am so pleased that you are writing about this topic as I have been having an experience that has not changed much in weeks. I have noticed for weeks now that every time I meditate I go down through a layer of physical energy. Hard to describe but it feels like physical anxiety not emotional anxiety. Once through (If I get through) that layer, things get quieter and pleasurable. How does one distinguish between personal energy processing versus processing collective baggage. Maybe it doesn’t matter as all garbage needs to go to the curb. However i have never had anything take this long to process. It is like flying through a rough layer of clouds.

    In reference to the points made about learning to be with our emotions and baggage as it arises…I have observed that each memory of shame, guilt, fear etc seems to be a point of self-rejection. It makes me realize how convoluted our personalities and experience of the world must get as we build walls around the emotions that we cannot accept. It seems like each resolved piece of history builds self acceptance and a more wholistic experience.

    Finally, thanks for what you do with this blog. I really look forward to each post.

    1. Hi Scott
      Right. It sounds like you’re picking up on the collective angst. When you settle below that, the waters are smoother.
      The discrimination of personal and collective takes a bit of clarity as there isn’t a distinct boundary. Our personal is in the collective also. But personal feels more personal and familiar. We sometimes have a sense of it’s origins, like the “lonely” I mentioned in the article.
      Collective feels more like energy in the environment. We’re in it but it’s not as personal. We may resonate with it or relate to it, but that’s like relating to a friends experience.
      Being conscious of it and transcending it does indeed help resolve some of it. But don’t try to tackle it all. It’s too much for one person. Just notice it as it arises like you describe. Just that noticing helps process it a bit. With many doing that more or less effectively, it’s making a difference.
      But yeah, don’t try to figure it out either as that’s just mind looking for a way to manage it.
      And yes, this is a big one. Jyotishi’s are saying it should ease some into September. But there’s another wave to come.
      And yes, I took a month off writing as I didn’t want to share or amplify it. That experience was ongoing, 24/7.
      Yes, excellent observations. It’s not always easy to see the stories we’ve been carrying. Some won’t even make sense as they were developed when we were very young.
      But yes, as we see through and let go of that junk and come to know our deeper nature, we can restore self acceptance. And a broader OK-ness with life. Like I wrote about on What Is. (2 posts ago)
      You’re very welcome. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Trami

    I think this is why I dislike spending time with people in leisure. They keep pining me down to a role. Even when spiritual teachers ask me how I’m feeling or how’s my life (situation), it annoys me. What’s that got to do with anything? Lorn and Lucia are the only teachers that don’t ask me such questions.

    David, I’m curious, are you a vegetarian? I was for a time because of the whole pursuit, but ive been craving meat so much this year (like never before) and I wonder if I should just go ahead and eat it.

    1. Hi Trami
      It’s normal for us to play roles. We need to behave differently with our children than with our employees or lover. The issue is when we believe them to be who we are and get lost in them and defend them. ie: unconscious
      I suspect its more like you don’t like the assumptions people make about you. What you’re describing is called relating. People ask how you’re doing to connect relationally. And perhaps to be polite. It can be annoying when they ask but don’t actually care.
      Lorn and Lucia focus beyond the person so they don’t engage relationally the same way.

    2. On diet, no. Things like dietary rules should be seen as suggested guidelines. Otherwise, it’s just mind trying to control again. It’s more important to pay attention to the body and what it’s asking for.
      The mind can’t process emotions and it can’t determine what the body needs either. For that you have to pay attention to the body.
      The exception is refined sugar and other addictive substances. Those can create unhealthy cravings. But if you minimize addictive foods, your body will tell you what it needs if you listen to it. Sometimes it even needs some sugar to process purification. (laughs)
      I was vegetarian for many years but that fell away.
      So yes, eat what the body is asking for. Of course, be moderate. Especially if you haven’t had any for awhile.

    1. Interesting question, Trami. I’d say its more an effect of fear due to what you suggest and perhaps post-overwhelm. Stress causes us to withdraw and inertia becomes dominant. We may feel that as apathy.
      Life goes in various cycles. We can have some bumpy experiences and assume that this will be our lot. The current time is certainly challenging a lot of people. We thus fear future similar exposures. And yet times change. And with them, our experiences and opportunities. But if we assume it’s the same, we can get stuck.
      Here’s another place where aversion can muddy the waters. We can confuse our desire to avoid pain with what we want in life. Sometimes we have to move through our pain to be free.
      Unless we pay attention and discover our desires, we won’t act. Unless we act, we won’t get results. And thus things stay the same. Our beliefs can be a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      1. Trami

        Yes stress sometimes but also mostly because the things that people are into at my age are mostly based around ego. It is really hard to find friends that are not unconscious. I’d rather be a by myself than be around alot of mindless actions and chatter.

  6. Cathie

    Thank you for this article. I appreciate it very much. There is much in it to reflect on.

    I live in New Zealand where at present we no longer have community transmission of the virus and life is back to something approaching normality. I wasn’t much affected by the lockdown we went through to get to this point. (In some ways I really enjoyed it.) Yet I am aware of an ongoing anxiety that is almost, but not quite, continually present, as I see what others elsewhere are going through. In some ways it feels like helplessness, a loss of agency. (An agency which I never had, of course.) The perceived inability to help in any way. Yet this is coupled with a fear of really seeing and feeling into the difficulties and trauma so many are suffering. It feels like more than I can cope with.

    Yet you put it so beautifully: “Life organized circumstances to turn many of us within and face some very old baggage”

    1. Hi Cathie
      Yes, where I am in Western Canada is similar, We’re in stage 3 of opening. Just large groups banned. Can’t imagine the movie theaters are doing well, especially with few new movies.
      You’re right – that’s another flavour. Fear of loss of control/ agency. An ego threat.
      Yes, you don’t want to try and take it on – that’s too much for anyone. The plight of an empath. Yet simply being broadly aware of it is more than many are willing to see. That’s very helpful. And then, processing what arises in our personal experience. That’s natures way of giving us our portion to help with.
      Because there is thousands doing this, a surprising amount is being processed. There is much more there yet though. This takes time. As I note to Scott above, we should see a bit of easing in September. But then another significant challenge late in the year.
      The dawn is rising but there’s a lot of collective shadow to clear before it can be supported in the collective. It’s like awakening only on a collective scale. 🙂

  7. Cathie

    You wrote:

    “…processing what arises in our personal experience. That’s natures way of giving us our portion to help with.”

    That’s very illuminating! It’s so obvious and yet I hadn’t seen it until I read your words.

    Thank you! I have to remind myself that – despite all appearances to the contrary – it’s really a very wonderful time in which positive changes are being achieved on a scale never seen before. I needed to be reminded of that.

    1. Yes, Cathie, it can be a real learning process. Or relearning. Our culture doesn’t encourage emotional awareness and healing – quite the opposite typically.
      And yes, amazing changes underway under all the purification. That will become clear at the other end.
      Even on the surface. Some of the technology coming down the pipe is astonishing and will revolutionize multiple industries. The pandemic itself is changing many habits and industries as well. We’re not going back.

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