When I think about fear, I used to think about a power that keeps me alive. And you can witness its very different from the way normally people think about fear, that it’s the bad thing that I should do everything to avoid. We turned fear into an enemy. And we can sing songs about the most important thing is to have no fear and you have those slogans “No Fear!” And as a man you learn to overcome fear and be brave and we can see that there is a lot of misunderstanding about what is fear and what should we do with it. The fact is that we’ll always be afraid. Every time something changes in the situation, which means, all the time, we are afraid, we don’t know what will happen next. And this kind of fear keeps us attentive, alive, on our toes and ready to adopt change, run away or whatever is necessary. Or think, okay?
To deal with the new situation. So fear allows us to really fit to the physical reality that is around us and not just to what is in our minds. So in a way, it’s a beneficial power. It comes to bring us a lot of energy and a lot of ability to concentrate, to think to make quick decisions. But we get trained from very young that fear is a bad thing. When we were small and we were afraid, it frightened out parents. And since they also didn’t want fear they tried to make us unafraid that they will not have to be afraid. Now this has been going on for many, many generations that every sign of fear is something that says we have to calm it down, push it down, pretend it’s not there, try to find solutions and you can see that we created a defense against fear that somehow pushes it away from us, it doesn’t allow us to really even experience what it is.
When teaching people how to allow fear and how to agree to be afraid, most of the time they are amazed at how wonderful it feels. In their mind it appears as a horrible kind of experience, as something terrible that they shouldn’t agree to, that it will be really bad, but when it happens, actually the experience is very different. For example, to stand in front of people and talk for those who are not professional, and many times even for professionals, is embarrassing.
We also look at the two types of fear we can meet in life. One is fresh fear. It’s happening now. The house is falling, if we don’t move now, very fast, we’re dead. So this kind of fear is immediate. You manage to escape, you run outside, you look at the house collapsing and your body starts to shake after, because what happens now? The fresh fear became old fear. It’s now a memory. It’s not happening anymore when you’re outside watching the house falling down. But what you have now is old fear that if you didn’t know how to allow fresh fear in your body and now it’s being stuck in your body and it gives you the experience of it’s happening now even if it’s not happening now. So you can see the misunderstand how to deal with fresh fear and we try to turn it into old fear. Old fear is old in the sense that it happened in the past, in history, not now. Our bodies respond to fresh fear now. We get filled up with energy, and unless we are trained to block fear, repress fear and freeze as a reaction to fear, then this energy makes us move. If we are too terrified of fear and we freeze then we are victims of the fear itself and instead of being beneficial it’s actually the fear that will kill us and not something else. So when we look at fresh fear and old fear, we can see another thing is that fresh fear, if it’s very long, we cannot be able to maintain it, we are unable to experience long fresh fear.
When the new fear makes you to think or talk about it for more than three days, your ability to allow fear would be diminished greatly. You’d be exhausted and you will try to turn it into old fear in a way that it would not touch you anymore. It’s because our bodies are not designed for long fear. If you think of wild animals that we once were, If the lion came at us we either died and then no more fear or we managed to escape and if we survived, then this fear was a blessing. But imagine yourself running away from the lion for three days, constantly there is no tree high enough, there is no rock big enough and you’re running and running and the lion runs and runs
We are unable to actually deal with something like that and you can see that the traumas that leave the strongest mark on us are those either those that devastated us in a moment. If we got into an accident and we have now 20 broken bones and five surgeries and it was clear that in one moment it all happened, or long periods of time in which we were terrified, like being abused in childhood or being in a prison where we were tortured for long periods of time or we had to suffer all kinds of depravation under long circumstances, then our ability to deal with fresh fear is diminished greatly, we cannot maintain it for too long.
Pain and fear wake up the body’s immunity, strength, resistance, etc. and those kinds of power are what keep us in well-being and in health. You take away pain and fear and we don’t really have anything to fight for.