Many if not most spiritual teachers are telling us that fear is the opposite of love and that if we are afraid we cannot be living in spirit. But fear, like every other emotion, has a wisdom, a genius all its own. We are not meant to square off against our emotions, pretend they are not there or try to shoo them away. We are meant to use them as a kind of internal messaging system that allows us to grow into greater and greater awareness of who we are as divine beings.
Fear has a particularly potent call. It can be so strong as to make us tremble. It can make the hairs rise on the back of our neck or on our forearms. It can sit in the pit of our stomachs until we develop ulcers—especially if we are trying to push it away. So, when we are trying to ignore fear, or compensate for it by a false persona, we miss its very potent message.
We spiritually bypass when we tell ourselves not to be afraid, for it will mean that we are not very spiritual people if we have fear. Spiritual bypassing means that we are trying to lift ourselves over the normal manifestations of living in the spiritual/human world. We try not to feel things that we think will make us less spiritual. But it is only lack of awareness that makes us less spiritual.
Fear’s genius is in drawing us closer to the godhead, the divine. Because we are afraid, and are aware of it, we tend to lean more on the divine to give us wisdom, to give us insight, to guide us to right action. Trying not to be afraid only means that we are trusting in that capacity to compartmentalize, instead of trusting in Source for our sense of well-being, safety, security or guidance.
But when we feel fear welling up in our chest, it is a directive of sorts to look upward for guidance, for safety, for deliverance, for truth. When we do this regularly, when we respond to fear as if it is that kind of directive from the soul, we tend to get closer and closer to the Oneness that is always ours, but about which we are quite often unaware.
If I am One with the divine, the very molecular structure of my body is divine, the very essence of my thinking, my believing, my emotions, my decision-making capacity is divine. But I’m rarely in touch with that for two reasons: 1) I’ve been taught, as have all of us, to believe that I am separate from the divine, that to believe in Oneness is some kind of blasphemy, for it intimates that I am somehow perfect. But that belief assumes that the divine is only perfect in terms of our ideas about good and evil. From that perspective, we can’t possibly be One with the divine because humans can’t be that good, that holy, that perfect. But from the perspective of Oneness, it isn’t about good vs. evil, its simply the truth about all of nature—it is a constituent elemental part of the divine essence.
2) I’ve been taught that my emotions are to be controlled and eliminated where possible. But from this perspective the Creator Source created us all wrong. Source should have left off emotions altogether. Creator must not have known what it was doing. Rather, like every other very wise aspect of the body/mind of humanity, emotions have a genius all their own. Each one of them has a gift to give us, and the gift is in the message it has to give.
So, for example, fear might say that you are deeply insecure about money, about how to manage it, or if you even can manage it in any way that doesn’t end up with you in the hole. What do you do with that? Well, you can certainly get some coaching on money management, but that’s probably not going to fully give answer to the fear. But if you also turn to the divine, and give over, surrender to trusting the divine to be your Source in everything, including finances, then you not only feel calmer but you begin to see the little lights along the way guiding you to right action about finances.
Source is our source. Money is not our source—even though that is what our society would teach. That fear came to give you the gift of getting close to trusting Source with your everything—the ultimate in becoming One with the divine.
Fear is a genius at bringing us closer and closer to Oneness.
Andrea Mathews is the author of four books, the latest of which is “Letting Go of Good: Dispel the Myth of Goodness to Find Your Genuine Self.” She is the host of the very popular Authentic Living Show and a therapist with over 30 years’ experience.