What does Fear look like? To me, it looks like someone hiding from something or someone. It looks like a bird that takes flight when I walk too close or an animal that jumps upon hearing something startling. I sometimes do things because I am afraid of a certain outcome and choose to do something different so as not to elicit the feared conclusion or consequence.
Fear feels like running away or intentionally avoiding something. I feel it in my muscles because they tense up to somehow try to protect me. Sometimes I feel it in my gut, like a warning message. I feel fear when I’m outdoors, or camping in stormy weather. My fear comes from a place of wanting to feel safe.
What is the function of Fear? Oh, this is a big one! It functions in some circumstances to warn me of impending danger. Other times, it functions to keep me hidden from sight for one reason or another. Sometimes fear functions from a position of perspective, because I got a certain unwanted response as a result of something I said or how I said it.
I think, ultimately, fear is looking out for my best interests, and it wants me to feel safe and loved. Perhaps when I feel it, I can determine if it is protecting me, or if it is helping me to avoid or run away from something. If I’m avoiding, then I can acknowledge it and allow my fear to give me a big ol’ teddy bear hug. Then maybe I can listen to it with different ears and act accordingly.
Here is a permission slip for you to explore fear. It’s okay to do this in small incremental steps. Try a little short step. What does fear look like to you? How does it feel to you? What is fear’s function? How might you tweak it to work on your behalf?
Part of being human is being aware of all of our feelings…
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