March 31, 2024

“Fear is the Mind-Killer”: How to Stop Letting Fear Control your Life.

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Fear has been coming up for me in full force lately and I have been facing it with difficulty.

It has been sneaking into my mind and bringing up some of the most screwed up insecurities from my past and ego-driven, emotionally charged outbursts that it has practically stunted my power and strength to continue progressively on my journey of growth.

Let’s rewind a bit. When I was young, I was fearless. I climbed 40-50 feet into trees and built tree stands in my early teens, I rode mountain bikes down dangerous rocky trails, climbed cliff faces, and had a thirst for speed in whatever vehicle I could get into. This all seemed to start fading away in my later teens. What happened?

I remember a traumatic experience when I was 15 or 16. I was about 20 feet high in a tree, cutting the top off. My friend and I were building a fort in the woods. After successfully cutting the top off, it slid onto my thigh still completely vertical and pinned my thigh to the branch I was sitting on. I was immobilized and didn’t have the strength to lift the tree top off of my thigh. I couldn’t get it to tip over either for all the surrounding trees were too bushy and close.

This was the first time my life truly ever flashed before my eyes.

I was scared, and fear told me this was dangerous and you could die. From that day forward I was frightened of heights. So frightened of heights I would have to strongly grip handrails, ladders, chairlifts…anything if it was even remotely high off the ground.

Months ago I started a transformation of growth and started a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual journey. I started confronting fear in the many facets it impedes my life. I have been affirming daily that I shall sit with fear and allow it pass through me and it won’t affect me anymore. One of my favorite quotes about fear comes from Frank Herbert’s Dune.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

This affirmation is powerful for me and really helps me break through old fear trauma. I have been working with this affirmation and my own variations of it to get out of my emotional ties to fear and release it from controlling me emotionally and physically.

One day at the mountain I was saying my affirmations on a long ride on the chair lift and I looked down across a deep canyon almost a hundred feet below me. I wasn’t holding the rail and I didn’t feel scared! Was the fear gone? It certainly seemed so in that moment so much so I smiled and laughed. I clapped my hands and practically screamed “hallelujah!” I was full of joy and excitement.

Weeks passed and I noticed physical fear was fading, emotional fear remained. Fear of what was going on in my relationship, fear of the future, fear manifesting as worry for things completely out of my control. I was seeing all of these things and wondering where they were coming from. There had to be a traumatic event that planted these survival mechanisms deep in my subconscious.

Abandonment and loss. These traumas stood out as reasons for my emotional fear and worry. I didn’t want to lose precious things in my life, so I had to smother them to protect them; I had to hang on so tight and not let them out of my sight. My possessions, my partner, my family, my feelings, and so much more.

I couldn’t let my possessions rule my life, and I couldn’t allow myself to be possessive of the people around me just from the fear of losing everyone or everything.

This was a profound learning, which came from some of the most emotionally charged times of my life over the last few weeks. If I hang on too tightly to possessions, I won’t get to enjoy them and let others enjoy them. If I smother my partner and my family, they won’t feel loved; they will feel controlled and isolated. If I hold back my feelings, I won’t open up and share who I am, not only with myself but with those around me; I have to become vulnerable.

Let go of it all.

I have to be present with fear and understand that it is only a teacher and not something to run from, hunker down, and build walls for protection from it. It is not something I can allow to control my life for it will inhibit me from experiencing the beauty and unexpectedness of what life truly offers: Freedom. Freedom to love, freedom to find happiness, freedom to find purpose, and freedom to just be.

It’s time to embrace freedom. It’s time to let go and live through love. Love the fear and then release it. This journey gets more and more difficult every day, so I remind myself, one day at a time. One day at a time in the present with as much love as I can muster. Let the fear come and go; don’t hold on to it. Just let go. Only I will remain.


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